The media have blamed the nationalist group Génération Identitaire for the arrest of two protesters alleged to be carrying Molotov cocktails at a banned anti-migrant protest in Molenbeek. The group have told Breitbart London that this is untrue, and they had no presence in the area.
More than 100 people were arrested in and around the Molenbeek area over the weekend, of which many were left wing counter protestors and local migrant youths who “rioted” – a fact that has received very little news coverage.
— Europe 2424 (@europe2424) April 2, 2016
Initially, the pan-European youth movement known as Génération Identitaire (GI) had attempted to organise a large scale protest in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, a “no go zone” now known as the ‘European capital of Jihad’.
The French identitarians had released a statement on their Facebook account calling members from across Europe to attend on Saturday. They wanted to peacefully demonstrate the fact terrorist and Islamic State (IS) member Salah Abdeslam was able to evade police for months, hiding in amongst the Muslim population of the Belgian capital.
Breitbart London reported that the demonstration was banned by the Mayor of Brussels immediately after the announcement. She told media: “When we fight extremism, it is against all extremisms. It is therefore out of the question to allow furious madmen [fous furieux] to express themselves,” and promised that, ““the police will be present to dissolve the gathering on the spot.”
A few dozen protesters showed up for the rally with a sign that was recognisably different from those GI have become known for. Two of the individuals who showed up were arrested after they were found with Molotov cocktails, according to the Independent.
The paper also claims the protesters were GI members. However, the leadership of the French Identitarians has insisted they were not interested in putting their members in harm’s way from the police and decided to back down. His group even released a video on YouTube two days before the event, instructing their members not to go to Molenbeek.
The president of GI talked exclusively with Breitbart London on the matter. Arnauld Delrieux claimed that they had no idea who the protesters were and said they certainly had nothing to do with his movement.
The fact that the protesters all looked over 40 is at odds with the fact that GI has a membership of young people aged between 18-26. Delrieux said: “They are not from our group, they just appropriated our logo. We don’t know them”.
An inside source claimed to be able to correctly identify the protesters. “They are all usual suspects, members of known Flemish radical groups with barely any real new members” the sources said, naming far right groups like the German NPD party.
The source insisted the Identitarians distance themselves from such groups, saying: “Identitarians aren’t linked to any party or actions of other movements.” He also mention a group called ‘vlaanderen identitair’, and said that the French members were considering how to stop them using the GI logos.
The counter protest was led by the Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (Human Rights League) whose president Alexis Deswaef was one of ten counter protesters arrested by police at the event. Deswaef said his group was protesting because he felt that Islamophobia was, in his words, an acceptable form of racism.
Following the protests, migrants in Molenbeek took to the streets to riot and overturned at least one car. On social media Generation Identitaire summarised the day, saying: “the real problem of Molenbeek isn’t Generation Identitaire, of which no member was there, but those hundreds of young ‘racaille‘ of immigrant origin who attacked the police… The problem of Molenbeek and Belgium is immigration.”