Brussels Police Try To Shut Down Conference Featuring Orban, Farage, Other Leading European Conservatives
Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu via Getty Images

A conference featuring conservative views on subjects like abortion and gay marriage was shut down by police in Brussels after the mayor of the district where it was located claimed it was “ethically conservative” and focused on  the defense of “national sovereignty.”

“NatCon brings together public figures, journalists, scholars, and students who understand that the past and future of conservatism are inextricably tied to the idea of the nation, to the principle of national independence, and to the revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing,” the conference website states.

“The challenges to national sovereignty posed by the EU’s drive towards ever-closer union create a unique opportunity for political conservatism to present an alternative vision for Europe,” the conference website continues.

The Alliance for Defending Freedom filed an emergency legal challenge.

“ADF International is supporting an emergency legal challenge against the mayor’s order to shut down the conference, arguing it is contrary to the fundamental rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly – the pillars of truly democratic societies,” Paul Coleman, the Executive Director of ADF International and a speaker at the conference on National Conservatism, said in a statement.

“Open dialogue is supposed to be at the core of European politics; yet here in the capital of the EU, a thoughtful exchange on policy has been shut down by unilateral decree,” he continued. “This is a watershed moment where the true censorship crisis in Europe is on full public display. The crushing of political opinions opposed by those in power is something that should be relegated to the darker chapters of European history.”

“This is what cancel culture looks like,” Coleman said outside the third venue the conference had tried to use for the event. “This is the third venue that they have tried to put this conference on. The first venue canceled the event; the second venue canceled the event late last night and now this venue agreed to host the conference and the police, which you can see behind me, have shut it down … This is the definition of cancel culture; this is the state of free speech in Europe.”

The conference reportedly finally went ahead at the third venue on Tuesday.


Emir Kir, the mayor of the Saint-Josse-ten-Noode district in Brussels, stated he issued a shutdown order because the conference’s “vision is not only ethically conservative (e.g. hostility to the legalization of abortion, same-sex unions, etc.) but also focused on the defense of ‘national sovereignty,’ which implies, amongst other things, a ‘Eurosceptic’ attitude.”

He added that the conference had to be stopped “to avoid foreseeable attacks on public order and peace.”

“What we have is a systematic attempt to sabotage everything to do with the conference,” MCC Brussels Executive Director Frank Furedi, an organizer of the conference, told the Brussels Signal. “They then threatened to cut electricity and all that.”

The National Conservatism conference hosted former UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Brexit Party founder Nigel Farage, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Catholic leader Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller from Germany.

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