Anti-racism concerts anger Flemish Interest
7 July 2006, BRUSSELS — The extreme-right Flemish Interest intensified on Friday its campaign against the artists participating in the pro-tolerance concerts 0110 to be held later this year.
7 July 2006
BRUSSELS — The extreme-right Flemish Interest intensified on Friday its campaign against the artists participating in the pro-tolerance concerts 0110 to be held later this year.
Flemish Interest (Vlaams Belang) chairman Frank Vanhecke warned the artists that sales for their albums would fall if they perform at the concerts.
"We have let ourselves be bullied around for too long, it is time that we stand up for ourselves as a party for which a quarter of the Flemish people vote for," he said.
"Artists who participate in such a concert must realise they are spitting in the face of all those people. They must not be surprised then when they no longer want their album."
The chairman's statement followed a critical letter sent to all of the performing artists by the Flemish independence party's leader, Filip Dewinter, on Wednesday. The letter urged the artists against performing at the concerts.
And also on Friday, Flemish Interest MP Francis Van den Eynde sent an open letter to Ghent singer Helmut Lotti, expressing surprise that he was performing at the concerts.
Van den Eynde reminded Lotti of his Flemish nationalist background, referring to the fact he was once a member of the Flemish National Youth Association.
The free 0110 concerts will be held a week before the 8 October local elections in Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels. Performing artists will spread a message of pro-tolerance and anti-racism.
But Dewinter has claimed the concerts are a "political meeting against our party" and accused co-organiser Tom Barman of an "abuse of moral authority".
Vanhecke then said Dewinter was "100 percent correct" and claimed the "dirty war against our party has again reached a new peak".
The Flemish Interest was especially angered by the attitude of Flemish showbiz artists Will Tura en Laura Lynn.
It said it was incomprehensible that they had joined the extreme-left discourse of people such as Tom Barman, who it claims is urging the public to vote against the Flemish Interest.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news