Belgian right-wingers: ‘Kill pro-climate girls, kill Jews’

This 17 August 2019 Dutch language video shows a reporter of Belgian Knack weekly. She interviews (drunk) far-right visitors of the Pukkelpop music festival. They shout: ‘Leftist rats, fuck off!’

On 15 August 2019, 18-year-old Belgian pro-climate activist Anuna De Wever had been invited to speak at Pukkelpop, one of many music festivals in summer in Belgium, to speak on the 20-27 Sepember global pro-climate strikes.

However, during her speech, a group of far-right men booed and heckled her, made obscene gestures, and threw alcohol at her.

The far-right men had flags depicting the Flemish lion.

The official flag of Flanders depicts a lion with red claws and red tongue. However, the men at the festival had flags with a black lion with black claws and black tongue. Wikipedia writes about that version:

It is not an official symbol. It was, however, used by the Flemish fighting alongside Nazi and SS troops [in World War II], and is as such also known as the collaboration [with Hitler] flag. It is today used by right[-wing] movements.

In this tweet, journalist Jeroen de Preter of Belgian Knack weekly writes about what happened next at Puppelpop. Translated:

About Pukkelpop and Anuna De Wever. Now, my daughter calling on the phone, very upset. After Anuna had been spotted at their tent, young men have stopped them from sleeping with death threats, thrown bottles full of urine at them and destroyed their party tent. Security is protecting them now.

The right-wingers also tore open several other tents as they thought Anuna De Wever might sleep there.

Security later reported they had banned the extreme right version of the Flemish flag at the festival. These flags had been distributed by the racist Vlaams Belang party.

Vlaams Belang youth branch

This photo shows members of the Vlaams Belang youth branch.

Vlaams Belang, like Donald Trump and other right-wingers deny climate change and support Big Oil.

Politicians of Vlaams Belang and also of the ‘moderate Flemish nationalist’ N-VA were very angry that the Pukkelpop organisation had banned the far-right version of the Flemish flag. They talked only about these flags, not what the men of these flags had done to teenage pro-climate girls.

Belgian (‘center-right’) daily De Gazet van Antwerpen, 20 August 2019, interviewed Robert Kaerts about what his 17-year old daughter went through at Pukkelpop. Kaerts is upset that politicians like Peter de Roover (N-VA) do not seem to care about what happened to those 17-year-old girls.

The far-rightists surrounded the girls’ tents all night. They tore open tents to find Anuna de Wever, one of them laid down on top of a girl, they shouted ‘green whores’, ‘kill Anuna’, ‘kill all Jews‘, they threw bottles full of urine, they tore up the party tent.

In spite of security protection, during the next night, there was again an attack on the party tent, and a bucket full of urine was put outside the girls’ tent. Robert Kaerts: ‘I cannot stop racking my brains about what would have happened if they would have succeeded in finding Anuna’.

See also here. And here.


Much Belgian Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse

This video from the USA says about itself:

Did leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses cover up child sex abuse?

In San Francisco, a woman is suing the Jehovah’s Witnesses for failing to protect her from a known child abuser when she was a child. The Center for Investigative Reporting has shed light on accusations that religious leaders led a cover-up of child sex abuse. Special correspondent Trey Bundy of the CIR’s Reveal reports on how the organization is using the first amendment to fight these charges.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

More than ninety reports of sexual abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Belgium

The Belgian branch of the Reclaimed Voices foundation, which defends the interests of victims of sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, received more than ninety reports in six months. That writes the newspaper Le Soir.

The federal public prosecutor conducts research in Belgium into sexual (child) abuse within the religious community. At the end of April, the Belgian headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kraainem were searched. The judiciary was looking for reports on, eg, internal court cases.

Own courts

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own kind of courts, committees of “elders” within the faith. They pass judgment on members’ sins. The maximum punishment is banishment from the community. A spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Belgium tells Le Soir that the organization wants to cooperate with the federal public prosecutor.

In the Netherlands, the religious community has so far not cooperated with the police and the judiciary. …

Reclaimed Voices in the Netherlands have received more than 300 reports of sexual abuse since the end of 2017.

See also here.

Belgian army recruiting child soldiers

This 2014 video says about itself:

Britain’s 250,000 boy soldiers in World War I

A quarter of a million boy soldiers, some as young as 14, enlisted in World War One by lying about their age. Around 120,000 of them were killed or injured. One 17-year-old was shot for desertion. The government and military — desperate to boost recruitment — turned a blind eye to the thousands of child soldiers sent to the trenches.

According to Belgian (right-wing) daily De Standaard today, the Belgian government plans to recruit child soldiers among high school students.

Today, already at some Belgian secondary schools, there is ‘security’ education aiming at jobs in the police, private ‘security’ mercenary corporations, and firefighting. I don’t like lumping firefighting, which is about saving lives, with mercenary corporations or police.

Now, Belgian armed forces spokesman colonel Jean-Christophe Delhaie aims at ‘defence and security’ education in at least fifteen schools in Flanders.

He says it is needed because many young recruits joining the armed forces now are resigning soon.

Belgian Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse scandal

This 2015 video from the USA says about itself:

Candace Conti: Former Jehovah’s Witness Takes on Church over Sex Abuse Allegations

Candace Conti says the church failed to protect her from a predatory pedophile, which Jehovah’s Witnesses has denied.

Translated from Belgian daily De Standaard, 3 April 2019:

Already seventy possible victims of abuse report to the Jehovah’s Witnesses hotline

The scandal of abuse within Jehovah’s Witnesses first erupted abroad, but has also received attention in Belgium since last week’s Pano [TV show] report. There are seventy possible victims reporting to the “Reclaimed Voices Belgium” hotline.

Since two weeks, “Reclaimed Voices” has also a hotline in our country, and in the aftermath of the Pano broadcast it is receiving “disturbing messages”. “Almost a week after the broadcast, there are more than seventy people involved in sexual abuse or domestic and psychological violence”, according to a press release from Reclaimed Voices Belgium. All reports have so far come from Flanders.

According to the hotline, the victims also talk about the serious psychological damage that the exclusion by Jehovah’s Witnesses from the community entails. “In the conversations we have had so far with victims, the exclusion trauma appears to have a greater impact in certain cases than the abuse itself”, writes Reclaimed Voices Belgium.

Abroad, the scandal started earlier. In the Netherlands, the theme gained momentum in early 2018 after the establishment of the non-profit association “Reclaimed Voices”, which collects testimonies about sexual abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The hotline can always be reached via its website.

This 28 March 2019 video says about itself:

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ child sexual abuse scandal: state intelligence to home in on sects

Belgian justice minister Koen Geens … wants Jehovah’s Witnesses wishing to leave the organisation to receive help from the sects’ watchdog. The minister was speaking after VRT’s Pano programme revealed widespread sexual abuse of children among the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation.

Also from De Standaard, 29 March 2019 (translated):

‘Jehovah’s Witnesses protect criminals

As a Jehovah’s Witnesses’ elder, Kurt De Kerf from Sint-Niklaas town had to support a probable pedophile

“My dedication to Jehovah went very far”, says Kurt De Kerf (55) from Sint-Niklaas. “If my children needed shoes, then I usually didn’t buy them. I gave the money to the organization and believed that Jehovah would take care of the children’s shoes.”

On Wednesday evening, De Kerf testified anonymously in the Pano report on sexual abuse that is said to be covered up by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Today the father of two sons and installer of fire extinguishers choose to leave the anonymity. “Because I have nothing to hide, and because it is important that this finally comes into the open.” …

“Jehovah’s Witnesses have been protecting criminals for years. I know, because I have worked on it myself as an elder.”

No worse than drunkenness

Elders are male Witnesses who lead their congregational pastoral ministry. Kurt De Kerf, whose father and mother are also Jehovah’s Witnesses, took office in the 1980s when he was barely 25 years old. He also became a member of the internal legal committee. “Crimes are rarely reported to secular justice”, says De Kerf. “In the Legal Committee, elders themselves investigate and punish crimes, ranging from intoxication, corruption to adultery.”

In the mid-1990s, Kurt De Kerf, along with other elders, had to consider a case of child abuse. A teenage girl from the community said she was being harassed by her father. “I was very impressed”, says De Kerf. “I knew for myself that I had absolutely no ability to deal with such allegations. I worked professionally as a house painter, so I was not trained at all for situations like that. Just like the other elders aren’t. ”

According to De Kerf, elders have a kind of scenario with procedures to follow in such situations. “The first step was to contact the head office in Kraainem. There they asked me if I had informed the police. I hadn’t done that yet. “Keep it like that. We will discuss internally what the further steps will be”, they said.”

A few days later he was told that he should handle the case in the same way as any other, and not unlike, eg, a case of drunkenness. The father denied that he had abused his daughter. Because there were no other witnesses, we had to leave the matter to Jehovah. Although I was almost certain that the man was guilty, I followed that order.”

According to De Kerf, the man was later excluded, because he was said to also have been guilty of other facts. “Then, against the will of my organization, I advised that girl to go to the police. She did that, but two weeks later she withdrew her statement under pressure by her father.”

Kurt De Kerf then continued to chair other lawsuits. “One day I had to decide to exclude the girl from the community. To escape her father, she had started living together with her boyfriend and that was forbidden.”

He got remorse. Yet it took years before De Kerf decided to turn his back on the Witnesses. “I went through a very tough period. My oldest son went to live alone, because he felt being curtailed by Jehovah. My wife had a hard time with that and undertook a suicide attempt. I was able to save her in the nick of time. But because of our family problems, I had to resign as an elder. My wife was also not allowed to consult a psychologist who was not a Witness. Then I realized that I no longer wanted to be part of this type of organization.”

It was a very tough decision. “We literally ended up in a black hole. I remember how I went to the fair with my youngest son for the very first time. I felt guilty for days. It took me years to build a life without Jehovah.”

This 28 March 2019 Dutch language Belgian Pano TV video shows Mr De Kerf speaking on Belgian Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse.