Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/177/7951
Fighting the Vlaams Blok
TWO WEEKS ago a student meeting in Gent of the Active Leftwing Students (ALS, a broad student organisation in which Militant Links - CWI Belgium - plays a leading role) was physically attacked by a group of fascists.
Geert Cool, Militant Links, Belgium
We held our opening meeting to explain what the ALS stands for. This meeting was aimed at new students and about 20 were present.
While discussing how to fight the neo-fascist Vlaams Blok about ten people rushed into the meeting hall and attacked us. They were members of the NSV (Nationalist Student organisation, organised by the Vlaams Blok). They hit a few comrades and were able to destroy some literature, which was on the table.
We fought back and got them out of the room. Nobody was seriously beaten. Afterwards we discussed how to fight fascist violence and seven out of the ten new people immediately joined the ALS. The three members who were hit by the fascists have made a judicial complaint.
We think that the attack was no coincidence. We took part in several actions recently against the appointment of a Vlaams Blok MP, Roeland Raes, to the executive council of the University of Gent.
Raes was appointed by the Flemish parliament as one of its representatives. We started a petition together with other student organisations, which says that we do not want to be led by a fascist who had a record of denying the holocaust and who has written racist material.
Roeland Raes is a "member-of-honour" of the NSV according to their membership list of 1998 which by coincidence is published on our website.
We will start a serious campaign against this fascist violence. Future meetings will be defended to prevent the fascists from attacking us. We will also use this attack in our campaign against Roeland Raes. We are planning a demo on this issue in November.
IN THE last week Belgian CWI members in the anti-fascist Blokbuster have organised and intervened in anti-Vlaams Blok activity in Harelbeke, Antwerp, Ostend and on a 1,000-strong student demo in Leuven.
Meanwhile, industrial struggles are continuing with busworkers striking over pay in the French speaking part of the country and also in Gent to get a union member reinstated.
On Tuesday 3 October, a 25,000-strong national trade union demo demanding social compensation for fuel price increases took place in Brussels.
In The Socialist 13 October 2000: