Nicolas Maeterlinck

Mayor bans far-right march

The Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close (Francophone socialist) has ban a march planned for Sunday by members of far-right groups. Mr Close’s spokeswoman Maité Van Rampelberg confirmed on Friday morning that Mr Close had followed advice give earlier this week by the Brussels-Capital-Elsene Local Police Service to not allow the so-called “March on Brussels” to go ahead.  

The organisers of the march had wanted to protest against the fact that the far-right party Vlaams Belang was not invited to take part in the talks on the formation of a new Flemish Government. Vlaams Belang has distanced itself from the march.

Earlier this week the police advised against the March going ahead as it feared trouble would break out between the marchers and left-wing counter demonstrators. There is also a balloon parade in Brussels city centre on Sunday that is expected to attract a large number of people to the heart of the capital.  

"The march has been banned for safety reasons and the Mayor has followed the advice given to him by the police”, Ms Van Rampelberg added.

Despite the march having been banned it is still possible that some of those that planned to take part will still come to Brussels to demonstrate. The Mayors says that the police are prepared for this eventuality and react appropriately if necessary.  Last year Mr Close banned a march against the UN Migration Pact. However, the organisers of the “March against Marrakech” successfully fought the ban at the Council of State. However, in this case time constraints make it seem unlikely that organisers will be able to get the ban overturned.