The Antifascist Struggle in Belgium:
The current situation in Belgium
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A nice reaction from a student from Brussels

Demonstration !
24 March Objektief 479.917 organised the (yearly) demonstration!

About Objektief 479.917

On 24 November 1991 the fascist parties in Belgium (Vlaams Blok, Front National and Agir) got 479.917 votes. Belgium is a small country with about 10 million inhabitants, this very high rate of votes for fascists scared the hell out of many people, this day is remembered as "the first black Sunday".
Some individuals thought something needed to be done against this, so they organised "Objektief 479.917".
They wanted to collect 479.917 antifascist signatures in one year, to support this statement:

During the thirties, the anti-Jewish racism didn't only prepare the terror against the Jews. Also communists, syndicalists and antifascists became victim. The fascists of several European countries used racism and nationalism to prepare the Second World War. During this war for conquest and domination, they killed among others 23 million Soviet citizens, 6 million Poles and 6 million Jews.
In Belgium 13.000 people of the resistance and 28.000 Jews died. The racism against emigrants in Germany, the civil war caused by nationalism in Yugoslavia and the proposals for a military intervention are as many alarm-signals.
The problem in our community is not the presence of emigrants: they are the most oppressed and exploited layer of the labourers and they contribute highly to the wealth of Belgium.
The problem is: racism, discrimination and fascism.

"Signers demand from the government a positive and radical solution for solving racism in our community. This solution must clearly take the view of human dignity, equality and solidarity. We demand full equal political and social rights for emigrants, who stayed legally in Belgium for 5 years, through the automatic giving of the Belgium nationality."

One year later, on 24 November 1992: 582.172 persons already signed the petition. Then they decided to keep collecting them until 1.000.000 people signed the petition. In the beginning of 1995, that goal was reached.
In the mean while, numerous organisations agreed with the demand for equal social and political rights. Also the big labour unions ABBV and ACW support the demand as they see racism as something that diverts the working class, and opposes the unity of the workers.
The PVDA/PTB - the communist party in Belgium - is the only political party supporting the demand of "Objektief" completely.
Agalev, the green political party in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium now also supports equal political and social rights, but doesn't agree with the automatic given of the Belgium nationality.

Until now the Belgium government didn't listen to this demand, and the media even silenced it.
Therefore Objektief 479.917 organises a demonstration once a year until the aim of equal political rights is reached.

By an anonymous student at the ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles):

In our University, Antifascist activities are organised regularly.
Mostly the initiative comes from the "Cercle du Libre Examen" or the "Mouvement Marxiste Leniniste".
Demonstrations have also taken place to protest against meetings of the "Vlaams Blok" and the "Front National" (fascist parties that present themselves as democrats).
Numerous demonstrations took place at camp 127bis where immigrants, whom the right to stay is withdrawn from, are locked up. One should know that every year a big demonstration against racism is held in Brussels (between 50.000 and 100.000 people).
I will send you more information about future actions and try to make your Web known at the ULB (the internet access is free for students here).

Bye, Stéphane

This shows once again that students form often an important part of the progressive activists in a country.

5000 to 6000 people, among much youth attended the 
demonstration this year. It was a peacefull demonstration. 
Many slogans were shouted against the government plans to
tighten the refugee legislation, and against the "transit 
centre 127 bis". 
The closing of the borders, at the costs of human lives 
and against the conventions of Geneve isn't only a problem 
in Belgium, but across Europe!

Equal rights now!
Emigrants automatical Belgian after 5 years
24 March î96
14 hr WTC-Brussels
Information: 02/5138346

Demonstration against racism and fascism

Emigrants automatical Belgian after 5 years

You can order posters and folders, cards "My arguments for equal rights" 
and packets (postcards, badges, stickers for 100fr.) by mailing to 
Objektief 479.917
Kazernestraat 68
1000 Brussel

Support by ordering postkards of Tom Lanoye, Kamagurka or Herr Seele by
paying on 001-2479917-91

(translated from the leaflet)

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