By Wim Haelsterman
B&C is an organisation that pretends to defend “Christian values” and the Catholic faith and community in Belgium in particular but with no official links with the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in the country.
Its chairman, Alain Escada, has been an activist in several far-right parties in francophone Belgium in the last decade. Active in the Belgian Front National (FN) and in the Front Nouveau de Belgique (FNB) one of the countless FN splinters founded in the 1990s, Escada showed up again in the ranks of the Mouvement Nation in 2006. Mouvement Nation is a far-right movement in which Hervé Van Laethem, former leader of the outlawed nazi thug squad L’Assaut, plays an important role.
The international press agency Belga, the Belgian equivalent to Reuters, had to go to court in the same case. Belga was charged of spreading scandalous and defamatory information provided by RésistanceS. The press agency, however, made B&C’s leadership even more furious by defining Polémique Hebdo as “antisemitic and pro-nazi” in a press release that accompanied the initial information provided by RésistanceS.
The Brussels court of first appeal rejected all the demands of Escada and his mates. In her verdict, the judge even referred to articles published in Polémique to make it clear that the use of the label “fascist” was appropriate. The magistrate referred, in particular, to articles like “Adieu Gil”, a piece favourable to a wartime volunteer of the Walloon SS division.
A rather pitiful plea by B&C’s lawyer Henri Laquay Jr. that his clients “are the victims of the activities of Trotskyist, internationalist, anti-Catholic and anti-monarchist militants” failed impress the court.
RésistanceS, meanwhile, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in its hometown of Brussels. The first ideas for the creation of a new anti-fascist group for Belgium’s French-speaking community Belgium developed in late 1996. It was not until early May 1997, though, that that the first public actions occurred, starting with a press conference where also the first issue of RésistanceS magazine was presented.
The primary objectives of RésistanceS are to expose the extreme right, to analyse and criticise the conditions that allowing far-right ideas and groups to develop, to denounce the influence of the extreme right on mainstream politics and to establish a functioning anti-fascist network in francophone Belgium for both individuals and organisations. By doing this, RésistanceS makes an important contribution to the fight against fascism, xenophobia and nationalism.
An impressive array of journalists, writers, artists and other personalities like Luc Pire, Pierre Mertens and the late Hugo Gijsels, among many others, have supported Résistances right from the start, most of them becoming part of the “supporting committee”. The founder and driving force behind RésistanceS, though, is Manuel Abramowicz, a writer and expert on the Belgian far-right.
The RésistanceS team has always operated independently and is not linked to any political organisation and consists of a multicultural group of volunteers coming from all three Belgian regions : Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.
Ten years after the launch of Résistances magazine, which went digital in 2000, its impact on the national and international media, has grown year by year and continues to go from strength to strength.
(*) Wim Haelsterman est le correspondant belge de la revue britannique Searchlight . Il participe en Belgique à la revue flamande Verzet (de l'Antifascistische front-AFF ) et est le correspondant en Flandre de RésistanceS.
© RésistanceS – Observatoire belge de l'extrême droite – www.resistances.be – firstname.lastname@example.org – Article mis en ligne le 27 juin 2007.
Un dossier réalisé
par Nadia GEERTS
• Article de la revue anglais Searchlight sur ce procès : Christian ''fundis'' lose case against RésistanceS - Wim Haelsterman for AFF-Verzet/ RésistanceS reports from Brussels (27-06-2007)
Le jugement du 23 janvier
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