Anti-Islamist protesters are crying foul after the mayor of Brussels banned a demonstration due to attract some 20,000 protesters. Organisers denounced as 'anti-democratic' the arrest of dozens of demonstrators who went out to the streets in spite of the ban. Police also detained the leaders of Belgium's far-right Vlaams Belang party, Filip Dewinter and Frank Vanhecke.And why was the protest prohibited?
stopislam220.jpgFewer than 200 protesters gathered in the city's EU quarter to rally against the 'Islamisation of Europe'. They were vastly outnumbered by over 1,000 police officers who promptly rounded up anyone brandishing a flag or a megaphone.
Freddy Thielemans, Brussels' Socialist Mayor, declared the protest illegal last week, fearing it would lead to violent clashes with the city's 'substantial' foreign community.But that's not how Arab nations do things, is it? The notion of free speech--especially if it is free speech directed against Islam--simply doesn't exist.
"We were worried about chaos and security threats. As soon as you get a blanket movement like this that puts everyone under the same label, you risk triggering a backlash."
The protest was organised by Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), a newly-founded organisation which seeks to regroup all other similar movements in Europe.
Gerard Nash, one of SIOE'ds founders:
"The fact that the Mayor banned us just illustrates our point. If people are against us, they could have organised a peaceful protest to say so, that's how we do things in Europe."
Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal reports from the scene, with video of the police breaking up a peaceful protest.
UPDATE: I notice Michelle Malkin has a number of the same links, and some other ones as well about this suppression of free speech by the left.