Global Tyrants in Bussels FAIL to Silence Conservatives

Nigel Farage returns to right-wing conference and condemns 'Soviet-like' cancel culture after socialist politician's attempt to shut down the event is overruled by judge

by James Reynolds, Daily, April 17, 2024

Nigel Farage returned to a hard-right conference in Belgium on Wednesday after a top court intervened to scrap local bans widely denounced as an assault on free speech.

The former MEP was pictured back at the Claridge venue in Brussels for the second day of the National Conservatism Conference after receiving the go-ahead from Belgium's top administrative court overnight.

The court sided with Farage and fellow attendees Suella Braverman and Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán, in ruling that attempts by local mayors to disperse or close down the events violated the country's constitutional right to peaceful assembly.

Despite the shutdown order, the conference - whose attendees include right-wing figures and elected officials from across Europe - had limped on through Tuesday with police blocking new attendees from entering.

Nigel Farage penned a scathing tirade against cancel culture and blasted 'the Brussels elite' for ensuring 'no other views are allowed' in response to the attempts to shut down the conference in Belgium on Tuesday.

'Cancel culture is saying, "I do not want to hear your opinion". What happened today is an updated form of Soviet communism,' the former UKIP leader lamented in The Daily Telegraph after police and local officials mounted a closure order to shut down his keynote speech.

France's firebrand former presidential candidate Eric Zemmour - who was among those barred from entering on Tuesday after concerted efforts by local mayors to block the event - was back on day two, and preparing to take the stage. 

'Thanks to God, thanks to the pressure we exerted, thanks to the scandal in all of Europe, Europe has shown that it was still the continent of liberal democracy, and of the rule of law,' Zemmour told reporters on site.

Hungary's prime minister Orban was to deliver the keynote address on Wednesday before attending a summit of EU leaders, having vowed 'we will not give up'.

Emir Kir, the mayor of Brussels' Saint-Josse district, had invoked safety issues for the ban, but he also wrote that the far right - which is predicted to surge in EU-wide elections taking place in June - was 'not welcome'.

Kir said yesterday he would 'immediately take measures to ban' the event when it moved to the Claridge event space, provoking threats of a legal challenge from the organisers. 

The dispute appeared settled by Wednesday, following the ruling from Belgium's top administrative court.

The Saint-Josse mayor said he took note of the court ruling, while defending his initial decision and vowing to remain 'vigilant' with regard to any threat to public safety.

Although a risk assessment body had advised him of a 'medium-level' threat to the event, the court said the mayor should have responded by reinforcing public security - not by cancelling a private event.

'The authorities should at least have tried to protect the people exercising their constitutional right to assembly,' said the court.

The event had been moved twice before finally going ahead at the Claridge space in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode but police said they would stop new arrivals from entering.

Emir Kir, the local mayor, said he would 'immediately take measures to ban' it, provoking threats of a legal challenge from the organisers.

The liberal mayor of Etterbeek, Vincent De Wolf, had previously urged the Sofitel hotel to stop the event going ahead at its second choice, the cancellation dubbed 'outrageous' by Mr Farage in his Telegraph comment piece.

He added that 'political pressure' had been placed on the first venue, the Concert Noble, to cancel. 

The handling of the event by local authorities drew fire from European politicians, condemning the perceived attack on freedom of expression.

Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo slammed the 'unconstitutional' attempt to shut down the event as 'unacceptable'.

Viktor Orbán said on Facebook: 'Brussels just moved up a gear. If anyone stands up for peace, they are simply banned.

'No question, on 9 June we have to say clearly: No War!' he added, referring to the European election date.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the reports of police action were 'extremely disturbing'.

A spokesman added that Sunak was a 'strong supporter and advocator of free speech' who believed 'cancelling events or preventing attendance and no-platforming speakers is damaging to free speech and democracy as a result'.

Writing in The Telegraph yesterday, Mr Farage said: 'I can see a growing number are beginning to understand what this globalist project of ever closer union represents.'

'It is not just undemocratic but anti-democratic in its very nature,' the ex-MEP rounded off, calling the clash possibly 'my most productive day ever in Brussels'.

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Police were seen setting up a barricade outside the Claridge venue yesterday after pledging to prevent any further traffic from entering.

Guests set to speak at the event later on Tuesday were among those turned away by authorities.

Suella Braverman told the BBC she was not thrown out and was able to speak on Tuesday.

Organisers said they plan to continue with the conference today, writing 'See you again tomorrow!' on X.

The future of the conference had been thrown into jeopardy following an order issued by Emir Kir, the mayor of Brussels district Saint-Josse-ten-Noode.

He said he was banning the event from taking place in the Belgian capital 'to guarantee public safety'.

'In Etterbeek, in Brussels City and in Saint-Josse, the far-right is not welcome,' Mr Kir added.

Kir was himself thrown out of the socialist part in Brussels in 2020 after meeting with politicians from Turkey's far-right. 




Brussels Fails to Cancel Conservatives by Tom Zawistowski is licensed under

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