A protest organised by the anti-Islam movement Pegida in Antwerp on March 2nd, was again officially prohibited by alderman Bart De Wever on Thursday. A previous application was similarly rejected. However the Flemish branch of the German-born movement is maintaining its call for all supporters to gather on Monday. The ban follows a negative recommendation by the police, points out a spokesperson for Mr. De Wever. “In the current atmosphere, the risk to public safety is too great,” he adds.
“Too many dangerous groups could join the protest and the march could draw together Muslim extremists and radical leftists with an obvious risk of confrontation,” argue the city authorities according to Pegida Vlaanderen.
The movement intends to “hold a peaceful protest” in spite of the ban. “We are aware of the risks, but arrests and fines will not stop us from expressing our opposition to the Islamisation of Europe.”