On the fringes of the communal council meeting in Ixelles, more than 200 youngsters gathered yesterday night (Thursday) in front of the municipal hall. They were demanding the closure of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF) premises.
This brings together several European nationalist parties and has been located since April 19th in 22 Square de Meeûs.
Shortly before 8 p.m., the group moved towards the headquarters of the APF. There were some slight altercations with the police.
Upon their arrival at Square de Meeûs, the police defined a security perimeter, preventing protesters approaching within 150 metres of the premises.
As a sign of protest, the militants, however, threw bottles at the police, who used pepper spray and their truncheons. No arrests were made.
The APF resembles, amongst other groups, parties and organisations such as “Nation” (in Belgium), “Golden Dawn” (Greece), “New Force” (Italy), “National Democracy” (Spain) and “NPD” (Germany).
An Internet petition for closure of the premises garnered 500 signatures.
Paul, a member of the campaign ‘Brussels Zone Anti-fascist’, behind the demonstration, maintains, “We are against organisations which are openly neo-fascists, who are indeed violent organisation. For example, the leaders of Golden Dawn are wanted at the current time, for having masterminded the assassination in 2013 of an anti-fascist Greek rapper. There have also been dozens of attacks on migrants since 2008. We, in our group, have seen members of Nation attacking a gathering of illegal immigrants. These people pose a danger to local residents.”
The protesters were also heard “opposing the rise in populism in Europe and the United States.” Paul concludes, “This is about, above all, taking a public stance through which we confirm what we are against and what we stand for.”
The Brussels Times