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Brussels Authorities Order Shutdown of Right-Wing National Conservative Conference

Brussels, April 17, 2024, The Europe Today: The city authorities of Brussels took decisive action on Tuesday, ordering the closure of a gathering hosting prominent right-wing European political figures at a “national conservatism” conference.

Keynote speakers at the conference included Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and a prominent advocate for Brexit. Themes explored during the event encompassed topics such as “Why Should We Prefer Our Own Culture to Others?” and “Challenging Wokeism: An International Matter,” attracting several hundred attendees.

Despite ongoing speeches, rumors circulated that the event faced imminent shutdown. Farage later denounced the ban, likening it to “old Communist style” censorship, asserting that dissenting viewpoints were unfairly targeted for suppression.

Former British Interior Minister Suella Braverman proceeded with her address amid a police presence. Braverman, a member of the UK Conservative Party, has expressed strong views on migration and the historical impact of the British Empire.

While authorities did not forcibly disperse attendees already inside the venue, they prevented further access.

The conference lineup also included Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, former Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, French politician Eric Zemmour, and German Cardinal Gerhard Müller.

Emir Kir, mayor of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode in Brussels, cited public security concerns for the ban, underscoring that far-right elements were unwelcome.

Organizers contested the ban in court after facing venue cancellations, leading to a shift in location.

Conservative figures, including Viktor Orban, denounced the shutdown, emphasizing a commitment to free speech. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo criticized the move as unconstitutional and damaging to democratic principles.

The conference, organized by the Edmund Burke Foundation, has attracted attention amid Europe’s anticipated right-wing gains in upcoming EU parliamentary elections.