Antwerp Mayor bans anti-Islam demonstration

The Mayor of Antwerp Bart De Wever (nationalist) has banned a march by the Flemish branch of the anti-Islam organisation Pegida. Since October 2014 Pegida has been organising public demonstrations in Germany (photo above) against what it claims to be the "Islamisation” of the Western world.

A Flemish branch of Pegida was set up recently and the organisation had hoped to stage a demonstration in Antwerp on Monday 26 January.

However, due to the heightened terror threat, the police in Antwerp advised the city's Mayor against allowing the march to go ahead. A counter-demonstration has also been banned.

In a press statement released on Wednesday, the office of Antwerp’s Mayor Bart De Wever writes that “In the current context (with the heightened terror threat) both demonstrations pose a risk to public safety and as such would require a large police presence. This is why the police advised against allowing the demonstrations to take place, advice that was followed by the Mayor. "
 

"Postponed, not cancelled"

Both Pegida Flanders and the organisers of the counter demonstration Hart boven Hard. Have said that they will be in touch with the Mayor and the Antwerp police to arrange a new date for their demonstrations.

Pegida Flanders’ Wim Van Rooy told the VRT that “Even if the demonstration doesn’t take place until the terror alert threat has been lowered, we intend to protest”.

Meanwhile, Hart boven Hard says "We remain concerned about a movement that brings in to question our inter-cultural society”. The organisation has called on its supporters to use social media to vent their concerns during a “virtual demonstration” next Monday.