This tactic was much in evidence when Filip Dewinter, the prominent Flemish politician from the party Vlaams Belang, was scheduled to participate in a debate at the University of Ghent on October 7th. The storm troopers of Antifa were called out to intercept him, and they violently blocked his access to the auditorium.
The “anti-fascists” were successful in their efforts: the debate was cancelled. But the refreshing news is that Filip Dewinter and his supporters did not hesitate to fight back.
The dedicated efforts of our Flemish correspondent VH have produced the following report on the events in Ghent, based on the Dutch-language news sources and blogs. First, a translation of an article in Het Laatste Nieuws:
Filip Dewinter in a battle with activists in Ghent
Near the auditorium “Blandijn” of Ghent University, a violent uproar occurred before the start of a debate organized by the NSV (Nationalist Students Association). At the entrance of the building a violent confrontation occurred when Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang with a score of supporters tried to gain access.
A group of activists from left-wing student associations had blocked access and kept opponents outside with violence. Both sides then pushed and pulled and there were some blows exchanged.
It was the first time that the rector had allowed the NSV to organize a debate on the premises of the university. The event was supposed to start at 8:00pm with a debate between Filip Dewinter and Jean-Marie Dedecker (LDD) about the cooperation between the Netherlands and Flanders. However, activists from left-wing student associations had blocked admission to the university building at 6:00pm.
Harassment by the extreme left
Dewinter had previously announced that he “would not let himself be intimidated by threats from the extreme-Left”. After consultation with the rector and the police he walked to the blocked entrance with his supporters. In the violent confrontation that resulted both sides exchanged blows and slaps and one supporter of the extreme right sustained a head-wound.
The police were present with fifty troops on the ground, and intervened. With the help of order troops and a water cannon the groups were driven apart.
Attack on freedom of expression
In response Dewinter said the incident was “an attack on freedom of speech”.
“We were struck and beaten because we wanted access to a university for an approved debate. The so-called anti-fascists used fascist methods to try to silence us. This can not be allowed in a democracy.”
When asked whether he also used violence, Dewinter replied: “If someone hits my face, I do not tend to turn my other cheek.” The debate was canceled. The police are still stationed at the location.
Before the event, Filip Dewinter wrote this on his blog :
I will not be scared away by threats and violence, and I will go tonight to the Blandijnberg [Ghent University] in Ghent.
Filip Dewinter, Geert Wilders, and Jean Marie Dedecker were invited to the debate. Previously, the rector of the RUG [Ghent University] had already announced that Wilders would not be welcome because his safety could not be guaranteed. Meanwhile it became known that extreme leftist organizations planned to prevent the debate by blocking access to the university building. The rectorate of Ghent University took note of this, but refused to make the necessary arrangements for a democratic and authorized debate that would take place in a safe way.
Source: Gates of Vienna