This 23 October 2018 video shows a red squirrel eating peanuts.
MarkvdToorn made this video in Belgium.
This 23 October 2018 video shows a red squirrel eating peanuts.
MarkvdToorn made this video in Belgium.
This video says about itself:
24 April 2016
Protesters walked through the city carrying banners condemning war with messages including: “Invest in peace not war.” The protesters marched past the French, Swiss and US embassies before rallying in front of the Ministry of Defence.
Translated from Belgian peace movement intal today:
To respond, and to continue to oppose this manipulated procedure, we invite you to a meeting at the time of the Council of Ministers. Arrive tomorrow at 8.30 am at the fountain in the Warandepark [in Brussels], on the side of the Royal Palace. … The decision will ultimately be made here (for information, the Lockheed Martin [F-35 producers] offer will expire on Monday 29 October).
Thanks and see you tomorrow?!
Translated from Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws, 2 October 2018:
We discovered fifteen [candidates of the far-right Vlaams Belang party for the 14 October 2018 local elections with nazi sympathies] – only by looking at what appears publicly on Facebook. That goes from likes for Adolf Hitler to statements of support to a terrorist who planned murders to keep Flanders white.
On Saturday 13 October, literally on the eve of the elections, a concert is planned in Lierde in East Flanders. Not in the cultural center, but in a shabby hangar in a private area. …
On Facebook, 72 people have already indicated that they will be there. One of them is Alexandra Remory, number one candidate for Vlaams Belang in neighboring municipality Geraardsbergen. She is in the company of guys who are fond of organizations like Blood & Honour and lavish with swastikas, and also with the organizers these feelings are not far away. “Fifty years ago [the 1940s, when Belgium was occupied by nazi Germany] such an Untermensch would have been crushed to death”, one of them writes about asylum seekers. “Now all European governments are handing out subsidies to let such lowly animal species do their thing!”
Even if the Vlaams Belang national executive would like to remove Ms Remory and her fellow Adolf Hitler lovers as candidates because of bad public relations, then that would be impossible: the ballots have already been printed.
This 9 August 2018 video says about itself:
Ryanair strike: “Conditions are shameful”
Ryanair is facing strikes over its working conditions and salaries.
Translated from Belgian daily De Tijd, 22 September 2018:
‘We are slaves with neckties at Ryanair’
… On the eve of the ‘biggest strike ever’ at the Irish budget airline Ryanair, we spoke with ten stewards and pilots. …
“I really like it at Ryanair. I have been working there for more than ten years, I am home every night and have one of the ‘better’, permanent contracts. But that does not detract from the fact that I have terribly disliked many things for years. If Ryanair wants to fly for long and happily, then it is high time for change.”
You hear a Belgian pilot who, unsolicited, emailed us an eight-page text, about which he doubted for a long time whether he would deliver it to the media. In it he explains why even well-paid pilots will join the strike to improve the fate of everyone at the Irish budget airline.
He is not the only one. There has been trouble at Ryanair for some time. After a summer of sharp conflicts in countries such as Belgium, Ireland and Germany, where stewards and pilots went on strike, unions in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal announced ‘the biggest strike ever’ by cabin crew. It will start at midnight on Friday, September 28 and will last 24 hours.
Cracks appear in the divide-and-rule tactics that CEO Michael O’Leary has been using for years. Large differences in contracts (permanent contracts, temporary contracts and self-employed) and in remuneration between pilots and cabin crew, but also within these groups, had to lead to difficulty for the 14,500 employees, who are already spread over more than 80 bases, to form one front.
‘The fear culture is the biggest problem in this company’, the Belgian pilot writes in his text. “It is the strongest among the stewards, most of whom have temporary contracts. Renewal depends on an evaluation that is largely determined by the number of days orf sickness and their sales figures during the flights.’
Because of fear of reprisals, most of our interlocutors – a dozen pilots and stewards – wanted to speak anonymously, without releasing specific details. “Then they will make examples of us and we will have to explain it at the headquarters in Dublin”. it sounded.
“I earn 813 euros net per month, while I often work 12 to 14 hours a day.”
Sarkis Simonjan, steward
‘A few weeks ago I was called to Dublin for a ‘disciplinary meeting’, says the 31-year-old Belgian Sarkis Simonjan. He has been working as a steward for Ryanair in Zaventem since March this year and has already been on strike this summer.
“They asked me why I had been on strike and tried to intimidate me. But I will not let myself be silenced. I have understood their strategy for a long time. Making money is the most important thing. And I belong to the best sellers. That is the main reason why they keep me on board. If you do not sell well, then you can also explain it in Dublin.”
Stewards and pilots who are sick ‘too often’ also get ‘disciplinary meetings’. ‘If you are ill for more than eight or nine days a year, then you must explain it to the Human Resources Department in Dublin, even if you have a doctor’s certificate’, a Belgian pilot who has been flying for Ryanair for more than ten years says.
“They tell you that on average you are more often sick than the rest. And that you have to be careful because they will keep an eye on your performance. A fellow pilot had to explain in Dublin why he has used more kerosene on certain flights than others. Everything is being monitored. ‘
The main requirement of all stewards and pilots striking is that the Irish budget airline – which made 1.45 billion euros in profits last year – should respect the local labor laws of the countries in which they work, and not the less generous Irish legislation. But CEO O’Leary wants to stop that because he fears with concessions he will undermine his profit model.
An experienced Belgian pilot has been asking questions for years about the employment of many pilots at Ryanair. ‘More than 60 percent are so-called self-employed people. They are assigned an Irish bookkeeper and set up a firm with two other pilots whom they never meet, for example on the Isle of Man. They only work for one customer: Ryanair. The benefits are big for Ryanair, the disadvantages are for the staff.’
‘A pilot who is employed as a self-employed person earns a gross hourly rate. He has to pay all costs, such as transport and meals. If Ryanair lacks a pilot in Poland, then they can call an ‘independent’ pilot from Portugal, based in Stockholm, to get his suitcase, arrange a hotel and pay for a three-day flight. So, flexibility above all else. Fear is great. Everyone has to cooperates or resign.’
Eg, we did not find young pilots willing to speak, not even anonymously. They have a lot to lose, because they have pay off a heavy training debt to Ryanair and it is more difficult for them to change jobs than for experienced colleagues.
500 euros per month
At the same time, all pilots acknowledge that cabin crew in particular have bad conditions. Only a minority has a permanent contract, says 33-year-old Belgian Steve Lemmens, a steward who has been stationed in Madrid since 2009 and has already been on strike this summer. ‘I receive a basic wage, a fixed amount per hour flown and 10 per cent of the sales on the plane (divided by the four members of the cabin crew, ed.).’
‘I earn 2,000 to 2,500 euros net per month, which is good. But many colleagues conclude a contract with a Ryanair subcontractor, temporary employment agencies such as Crewlink or Workforce. They often do not have a basic wage and are paid per hour flown. We call that a zero-hour contract.’
“I have colleagues in Brussels who earn only 500 euros a month if they fly few hours”, says a 30-year-old Southern European who has been working for Ryanair for over three years. ‘Many are South and East Europeans who find hardly a decent job in their own country or who want to work in aviation.’ …
‘They lure people with false promises,’ says a Belgian pilot. “Ryanair claims that they can earn up to 40,000 euros per year. That is fake news, they never get it. It is easy to exploit youthfulness. Ryanair also deposits your salary only on an Irish bank account. The young cabin crew have to arrange all that themselves. There is zero guidance.’
‘Contact with management? That does not exist’, laughs the 30-year-old Eastern European steward. “They send us from pillar to post. When I want to discuss something, they send me to the manager of my base. He says he can not decide and sends me to the European ‘base manager’, who sends me back to my manager. That is the culture.’
‘If I have to arrange paperwork for payment of a disease, then I first contact the local authorities. They send me to Ireland because I have an Irish contract. They send me back to the country where I live. Ryanair uses the legal loopholes. That’s awful.’ …
‘They sell us a dream’, says Belgian steward Sarkis Simonjan, who has been working in Zaventem for half a year. “I did not know all that. I wanted to get started because I could always be at home in the evening. And because I was guaranteed a monthly wage of about 1,500 euros net, with extras per hour flown and bonuses for in-flight sales.’
“Do you want to know how much I really make? (shows a pay slip on his mobile phone) 813 euros net per month. While I often work 12 to 14 hours a day. We often say among ourselves: we are slaves with neckties on.”
Sales pressures also increased over the years, says Lemmens, who has been working for Ryanair since 2005 and has received written warnings when his sales left something to be desired. ‘After the flight there is a debriefing and you will be addressed if you have not sold anything. .. Ryanair also gives us tips how to sell more. Like that passengers are not allowed to sleep.”
“Whoever is faithful to the company is not rewarded for that, my salary has remained almost the same over the past four years.”
A Belgian board commander
Dutch pilots to join their colleagues striking across Europe against Ryanair’s pay and conditions: here.
Cabin crew at Ryanair are on strike today in five European countries. The work stoppage began at 3 a.m. in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. After pilots in Belgium and the Netherlands committed to join the strike, the Cockpit union announced on Thursday that permanently employed pilots in Germany would also participate. This means the strike will be larger than any previous job action at the airline: here.
This Belgian TV tweet says (translated):
‘Scilt ende Vrient’ (medieval spelling) is a slogan, a battle cry, from medieval Flanders. A watchword: people who did not know it, or, being French people or other foreigners, could not pronounce it properly, were considered to be enemies and were killed.
Dutch daily De Volkskrant writes about Schild & Vrienden today (translated):
In those closed [Schild & Vrienden Facebook] groups no message is rude enough. There is open emulation of Nazism, and extremely sexist and racist jokes are made. There is a picture of a black boy, with the text: ‘This is Mumba, an eight-year-old negro boy. It takes him three hours every day to come to school. With your support of 5 euros we will buy a whip and we will make sure that this lazy nigger pest will be at school within fifteen minutes.’…
And there is a picture of a man chasing a black child on his bike with an automatic weapon in his hand. ‘When you are barbecuing and your charcoal is running away’, says the caption.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
In Belgium, from left to right, people reacted shockedly to a TV report about the ultra-right youth movement Schild & Vrienden. The public prosecutor’s office of East Flanders is conducting an investigation to see whether criminal offenses have been committed.
In the Pano program of the Flemish public broadcaster a picture was sketched of the movement around 25-year-old Dries Van Langenhove. Schild & Vrienden is a paramilitary movement of about 190 core members, which preaches physical and armed preparation for a coming civil war. The leadership encourages the members to get strategic and socially important positions.
The movement has a total of about 900 members, who exchange information in a closed Facebook group. The Facebook page has 14,000 followers. In the closed chat sessions radical, racist and violent statements are exchanged, according to the report.
Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) says that he is deeply shocked by the racist and anti-Semitic statements, which he calls disgusting and contrary to the foundations of society.
The right-wing N-VA party is in the Belgian coalition government. They are at least somewhat xenophobic. According to the Volkskrant report, the controversial anti-refugee N-VA immigration minister Theo Francken had Schild&Vrienden members as bodyguards. For the coming local elections in Belgium, at least three Schild&Vrienden members were N-VA candidates. After the bad publicity, they have been sacked or have resigned.
Schild&Vrienden fuehrer Van Langenhove recently was a speaker at a meeting of the Dutch far-right FvD party. Van Langenhove recently spoke to right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; after Schild&Vrienden firearms practice in Romania.
Party leader Chris Beke of the Christian Democrats warns that this should not be underestimated and that it should not be laughed about. “This is really worrying, not my Flanders”, he says. Minister of Justice Koen Geens says that these people are entitled to free speech, but that it threatens to turn into xenophobia and racism.
Van Langenhove himself is a student representative at the University of Ghent, and four members of his movement have been elected to the Flemish Youth Council. Liberal party chairwoman Gwendolyne Rutten says “that fascism threatens to penetrate into the heart of the university and the Youth Council”.
UPDATE January 2019: Van Langenhove Vlaams Belang election candidate.
This August 2018 video says about itself:
Black Teen Pushed Onto Rail Tracks by Racist Belgians
Police have arrested a 35-year-old White man for pushing a Black 15-year-old onto the tracks at Aarschot station. The teen was racially harassed, spit on and pushed by the Belgian trio. The Black teen is seen thrown on railway tracks by racist Belgians who say they were “drunk and on drugs”, and defending himself.
Luckily the railway staff noticed the incident with people on the tracks and stopped rail traffic. The male suspect, a 35-year-old from Aarschot, was arrested while hiding in the bathroom of the station.
Black tourists to Europe often bring home an unwanted souvenir: racist abuse. The rise of xenophobia in many European countries is due to the wave of African immigrants fleeing the countries that have been destroyed by European colonialism. Now there are many reports of racist violent attacks on Black tourists who are seen as immigrants taking over.
Another, 26 August 2018, video, censored by YouTube, used to say about itself:
This 15-year-old boy was racially harrassed, spit on and pushed by a drunk Belgian trio. He defended himself after he was pushed onto the train tracks.
This happened at a train station in Aarschot, Belgium.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
In Belgium, there are shocked reactions to a video showing that a black 15-year-old boy is being attacked by a man and two women. After an altercation, the boy was pushed onto the railway track. …
The 35-year-old man and two women (35 and 43) make racist remarks to the boy who was waiting for the train. …
The video was put online by a woman friend of the victim’s mother. …
The victim remains calm at first, but after the discussion has flared up, there are blows. The boy tries to defend himself, but he is pushed onto the trail by the man. He tries to get back to the platform as quickly as possible, but is then pushed back by the man. In the fall he pulls the man along onto the track. …
The man who attacked the boy has been arrested and is a suspect of “intentional violence and injuries with a racist motive”. The two women in the video were released shortly after their arrest.
This 20 June 2018 video shows sand martins at their nesting colony near Lommel and Mol in Belgium.
The young birds can already fly, and their parents feed them.
Karel Verbruggen made this video.