Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Rebellion Spreads to Belgium


Belgium fears the spread of the people’s rebellion. Already over the week end there were several incidents in Liege and Brussels. Events that were covered up by the police and the media, in order to keep the people in the dark.

As the incidents are becoming more numerous, the media are beginning to let out information bit by bit.



The Vlaams Belang is Targeted
On Monday/Tuesday night, around midnight, a molotov cocktail was thrown against the secretariat of the Vlaams Belang in Bruges. The missile, full of gas, smashed against the front of the building bit did not do any damage. Three people were arrested in relation to this incident. It seems that a witness took down the license plate number of the alleged attackers. The charges against them will be decided this Tuesday.
[translators note: the Vlaams Belang is the far-right anti-immigrant political party formerly known as the Vlaams Blok]

Isolated Incidents in Liege
The police have pointed out that the events in Liege over the weekend and on Monday were isolated incidents and nothing indicates that they are connected. Liege is not in a crisis, the local police insist. It is true that glass was broken but the bus shelters were hardly damaged, the police say. Bottles full of gasoline were found under some cars but they did not have the proper mechanism to catch on fire. Though it is true that one window was broken. Finally, the police was forced to admit that yes some cars were set on fire over the week end and yes some rocks were thrown at a bus, but these were isolated incidents the likes of which are nothing out of the ordinary in a city like Liege. So far as the police are concerned, there is nothing to indicate that these events were all the work of the same people.

Events in Brussels
Some incidents occurred Monday night in the Brussels-Midi area, according to Jacques Simonet, president of the police college at Brussels-Midi. Some rocks were thrown at a police car. A couch was set on fire in Forest and a car was flipped over in Saint-Gilles. A car was also turned over on Mons hill in Anderlecht. The situation is under control, said Mr Simonet, who is also mayor of Anderlecht. The Brussels-Midi support services might intervene if the situation gets worst, but the police are trying to diminish tensions with the help of prevention teams.

Five cars were set on fire in the main Brussels station on Sunday/Monday night, but there have been no other incidents similar to what has been going on in France over the past 11 nights, said Belgian police on Monday.

“Five cars were set on fire in three different places,” explained Albert Roosens, the police spokesman, adding that there was no mass disturbance. “Don’t go looking for some connection with what is happening in France, because there isn’t any,” he said.
There have been no arrests and the events took place in a run-down area in the Belgian capital.

Workers Unite!
General Strike!

  • Fire November 8th 2005, from Indymedia Paris

Please note that the above text about the past 12 days riots in France comes from the Indymedia Paris website in France and was translated by yours truly. I have a “fast and loose” translation philosophy, meaning that when there is a choice between readability and the original phraseology i tend to favour the former, provided that the meaning stays the same. The original document can be seen in French.

Please also note that i am translating this as i have not been able to find any radical accounts of the riots or the police racism that provoked them in English… i do not necessarily agree with the author’s point of view, nor do they necessarily agree with mine. Si quelqu’un a un meilleur texte à suggérer, svp envoyez-moi le!


  1. Ker-
    Your reporting is excellent. I am so lucky to have stumbled upon your blog in this time of volatile, life-affirming revolt. Thank you for delivering the (fairly unbiased) news to the masses, it is so important! Are you a career reporter? Thank you, thank you.

    Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.

  2. Hello,

    As a Belgian I must say that some of the text is not fully correct i.e. it's Vlaams Belang and the molotovcoctail was thrown in Bruges not in Brussels

    With kind regards


  3. When will we all realize that the problem is radicam Islam & Militant Arab-Racism?

    First we blame the "zionists", now the French, tomorrow the Belgic, who's next?

    Are we still thinking that the Arab Muslim thugs (wether butchering babies in Jerusalem, beheading non Muslms in Indonesia/Iraq etc. decapitating in the Philippines, masscring youth in Bali, enslaving in Sudan, persecuting the Copts

    And on and on...

    Put the blame where it blogs!

    Radical IMAMS' incitement!!!
    Like It Is

  4. These thugs are no heroes they are not "revolting", setting abalze a disabled "infide" woman is no "protest'...

    their leaders can't have it both ways, appearing as 'denouncing' it and behind the scenes telling them to go on a "holy" Ramadan "peaceful" vicious Muslim rampage.

  5. Even from a marxist-materialist worldview i find this report odd.

    If anything, this is a reactionary conservative revolt(albeit a minority conservatism). It is an attack on European liberalism.

    I think that the result of this 'rebellion' will booster both forms of the far right-wing(islamic and european). It could very well render the marxist-materialist worldview null and void. It is anything but a win for what you perceive as the worker.

    It may very well hit capitalism and neo-conservatism hard, but one must realise that any hits taken by capitalism or neo-conservatism are of far more benefit to the isolationist far-right than the internationalist left or free market liberals in Europe.

    The rules and interpretations(especially of the homo-economus worldview type whether left or right) of the past are totally irrelevant today.

  6. Some people here are suggesting that these youths rebelling are radiical muslims, extreme conservatives, or reactionariess of other types. They base these decisions on religious stereotypes- if a muslims rebels he is rebelling becasue of Islam. I ask you, when the Watt riots took place in the USA did anyone dare call them the works of Christian extremists? Of Reactionaries?

    Put your stereotypes aside people. The youths who are rioting are not doing so because their Imams tell them. Listen for a second to what these youths actually have to say - they are not mad that the French government is secular, they are not angry that Chirac is an 'infidel'.

    They are angry because they were born in France, but are treated like foreigners - constantly harassed by the polcie wanting to see their papers, called racial slurs, told to go back home despite the fact that France is the only home they've ever known! These youths are mad becasue they were always told by the state in the classrooms of thier childhood that they were French citizens, and had every right that came with it. They were told that France was the home of the universal rights of man, preached the gospel of brotherhood and one common humanity. These youths are not mad becasue they don't like the gradiose concepts of liberty - they are mad as hell that it has been denied to them!

    These youths are not rebelling because they want to leave french society - they are scratching at the door to get in!

    Of coruse the fallacy of this whole situation is that they will never be allowed in. The neo-liberal state and all its trappings requires this reserve labour pool of youths to cook the middle-classes their meals, to wash their cars, to clean their pools.

    This is not a revolt of the indsutrial-workers of France. These are not the proletariatl, at least not in the way Marx defiend them. No, these youths do not even have the "luxury" of steady industrial work. These African and Arab youth are the lumpen-proletariat - that even more depressed group of workers who have absolutely nothing to lose.

    As the brilliant Martinique theorist of decolonization and psychoanalysis of the opressed, Frantz Fanon, once wrote...

    "Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it."

    I think these french youths have found their calling.

  7. Am gonna agree with the last poster here.

    Frankly, from what little I've read and heard about the riots and the young people involved therein(all in the English-language media),these kids don't give a Tinker's Damn about religion, ideology and all the rest of that.

    What they care about is NOT having to be harassed by the police on a daily basis, having things to do in their neighbourhoods, and having a shot at being able to provide for themselves and their families.

    When the French governing classes, like the American, British, German, etc, ones, ignores and denies them these simple basics, are they just supposed to shut up and disappear like good little boys and girls, so they don't upset the rich and middle-class grown-ups sitting down at their dinner tables????

    Living circumstances like the ones described in the various French sub-urban banlieues would try the patience of grown people, much less teen-agers.

    There are those, as evidenced by three of the commentators to this post, who identify, for their own reasons, more with the powers that be than with the powerless.

    Whether they ideologically come from the Right or Left, they identify with and hope to emulate their social "betters".

    In Britain, they used to be known as Working-Class Tories.

    In the US, they might be best understood as "Reagan Democrats", "NASCAR Dads", or "Soccer Moms".

    Whatever their country of origin, these people, either because of their social origins, or because they hope to improve their lot in life, what have you, are quick to condemn anyone who stands up to the powers that be in their respective countries.

    They are always quick to find fault with and condemn their societies' "lower orders", while exonerating the governing classes of those same societies.

    For such people, even if these kids had gone to the Elysee or Matignon dressed in their Saturday or Sunday best, and presented a lengthy, but respectfully worded, petition of their grievances, then gone back home in an orderly fashion, that wouldn't have been enough.

    They would still be outraged, because "la canaille", "the rabble", etc, would have dared to complain about their lot.

    Such people are, at best, snobbish dunderheads with little or no empathy for other human beings.

    At worst, they are vile wastes of human flesh, inhumane, uncaring, and, under the right circumstances, genocidal in their loathing of others different from them.

    I don't endorse the riots, nor the deaths, injuries and property destruction that have resulted from them.

    I do understand the frustration and anger that led up to, and drives, them, however.

    Any society that prefers to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted sets itself up for ugly problems that will, in some form, bite it right in the arse in the future, at the very least, or destroy it utterly, at very worst.

    Whether it be France, the UK, the US, Australia, Germany, what have you, any society in which the comfortable choose to indulge their own self-satisfaction, greed, and contempt for others not their own, sets itself up for all the problems that result.

    Cheers, Donald Rilea@http://afistfulofteeth.blogspot.com.