Socialist Belgian Mayor Tries To Force Closure Of National Conservatism Conference

(Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

Police and lawmakers in Brussels, Belgium, reportedly worked to successfully shut down the National Conservatism Conference on Tuesday.

Known colloquially as NatCon, the gathering was set to introduce Hungarian leader Viktor Orban and British politician-turned-reality star Nigel Farage over the coming two days, according to Politico. Instead, law enforcement arrived two hours into the event, claiming they were given an order to shut it down for “creating a public disturbance,” NatConTalk host Yoram Hazony told the audience in a video shared on social media.

“However, they only sent three police officers,” Hazony continued as the crowd applauded and giggled. “And so when the police walked in and all the cameras turned on them, they got scared and they went back outside.”

Apparently, the police wanted to close down the event “gradually,” but there’s a catch. Hazony said that if guests wanted to stay inside the event, they were welcome to do so. But those who left would not be allowed back inside. Hazony noted that if there was a greater effort to shut down the event, they would simply reconvene at a new venue the following morning.

The event was moved from two other venues but Brussel’s socialist mayor Philippe Close reportedly pressured the establishments to cancel on NatCon. Mayor of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode Emir Kir, leader of the area where the final event space is located, told Politico that he would “immediately take measures to ban” the conference.

“It’s really something out of a tinpot dictatorship,” NatCon organizer Frank Füredi told Politico. “They’re trying to use a technical reason to make a political point. They told the owner that if it doesn’t get shut down they’re gonna cut the electricity.” (RELATED: Online Influencers Should Undergo Reeducation To Make Sure They Spout Regime Ideology, Belgian Gov’t Proposes)

“One of the reasons that we’ve been given, it’s not the only reason, is that there will be a counterprotest this afternoon around about 5 p.m. and the idea is that the police are not able to protect free speech at this event,” local organizer Anthony Gilland added, noting that law enforcement showed up again an hour after their first arrival to give Gilland 15 minutes to read and sign a three-page documented supposedly related to their activities.

Farage was able to make his speech, despite the threats of a shut down. “I understand the police are very, very keen to close this down. If they’re going to close it down they can do it with me on stage,” he said in closing as the crowd apparently cheered.

NatCon is legally challenging the shut down order, claiming there is no public disturbance, according to a social media post. (RELATED: Think Things Can’t Get Worse In America? A British Guy Just Got Convicted For Making A Joke In A Private Groupchat)

Mayor Close did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment and clarification on his order.