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Footage from the action at Gravensteen (YouTube)

Facebook censors Flemish nationalists protecting historic castle

A Flemish patriotic youth group launched a video on Facebook in which they pledge to defend their Flemish heritage and their future, but it was taken down quickly.

Published: March 9, 2018, 8:46 am

    The footage shows how the group successfully disrupted a leftist pro-immigration promotion at a Flemish castle in the city of Ghent. Dries van Langenhove, leader of Schild & Vrienden, said leftists and their actions “endanger the future of Europe”.

    In a short amount of time the video received 300 000 views but Facebook has taken down the footage. Several messages and movies of the group have also been removed from Facebook and the group’s leader has been suspended from the platform.

    But the group will not give up and reposted their viral video again.

    “This is structural,” says Van Langenhove. “When we have a message that it is doing well, leftists in all kinds of anonymous groups agree to report our message to Facebook… The people who have to decide about it find us offensive. We do not have a fair chance of being treated fairly there.”

    In addition to explaining that a “heavy surgical intervention on a biologically healthy body […] is not the right solution in most cases”, Van Langenhove said that “it is important to conduct this debate. The free word is our most precious thing.”

    Politically correct censorship will only increase the pressure on the boiler dangerously, he noted.

    In Ghent, the patriotic student club Schild & Vrienden campaigned against “illegal immigration” and destroyed the pro-immigration banner which had been displayed at Gravensteen castle. In addition, there was some tension with other pro-immigration bystanders.

    At the symbolic Gravensteen, a banner with a European flag and the text “Europe can be different”, argued for a more humane refugee policy and open borders. Organisations such as Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen had called for the symbolic “storming” of the fortress this week. This was “to make it clear to the EU that they are outraged by the European approach to the refugee problem” by not allowing in everyone.

    The conservative group however, did not agree with that. According to them, it was a typical banner of the “left subsidy clubs” that “dishonored our Flemish cultural heritage to promote their open borders agenda”.

    Schild & Vrienden tweeted their action to take down the banner. “We removed the banners that called for more illegal immigration and have restored the Castle of the Counts.”

    On video images one could see how some members of the club took the flag down with some difficulty as they were being stopped by leftists. The action ended with some disturbances.

    The police decided to intervene and separate the two groups. Nobody was arrested.

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