From Brussels Journal : The grey-haired man whom we see being attacked by the police first is Luk Van Nieuwenhuysen, the Vice-President of the Flemish Parliament. Shortly afterwards we see the police maltreating Frank Vanhecke, a member of the European Parliament and the party leader of the Vlaams Belang. We see how he is handcuffed and pushed into a police bus. Afterwards we also see the police "taking care" of Filip Dewinter, the VB group leader in the Flemish Parliament. We see how his arm gets caught between the closing doors of the bus. An Italian MEP and a French MEP were also arrested. The demonstrators were kept in cells for seven hours and released this evening.
UPDATE - this blogger attended. More police than protesters and a lot of media.
UPDATE2 - lots of links here.
As a socialist schoolboy I campaigned for Terry Davis in the 1971 Bromsgrove by-election. Thirty-five years on he's Secretary General of the Council of Europe, 12% of whose £150 million annual budget comes from UK taxpayers.
This is what he has to say :
Press release - 590(2007)
Strasbourg, 11.09.2007 - European values are under threat, say the organisers of a protest march under the banner “Against the Islamisation of Europe” which was due to place today in Brussels in spite of the ban by the city Mayor. The fact is that Europe and its values are indeed under threat, but the danger is not coming from Islam. Our common European values are undermined by bigots and radicals, both islamists and islamophobes, who exploit fears and prejudice for their own political objectives.
The self-proclaimed defenders of European values say that the Mayor has violated their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. The freedom of assembly and the freedom of expression are indeed essential preconditions for democracy, but they should not be regarded as a licence to offend. I will not enter into the discussion about whether the march should have been allowed or not, but I note that the protesters’ reading of the Convention is selective to say the least. It is very important to remember that the freedom of assembly and expression can be restricted to protect the rights and freedoms of others, including the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This applies to everyone in Europe including the millions of Europeans of Islamic faith, who were the main target of today’s shameful display of bigotry and intolerance.
The key sentence is "It is very important to remember that the freedom of assembly and expression can be restricted to protect the rights and freedoms of others, including the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.".
It looks as if "the rights and freedoms of others" includes the right not to be offended. Only for some others, of course, not for everyone. That would never do. I like the use of language, describing Muslims as "the main target" of a peaceful demonstration. There have been one or two other "main targets" in Europe over the last few years - of rather less peaceful "demonstrations".