Hooligans and the fascist invasion in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist protesting the hooligans Place de Bourse in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – I chose to make this photo anonymous, but his protests to the hooligans was vocal and immediate.

“Everything was so nice until they came here.”

Well, “Another Way” might have to wait another day our two.

The memorial space that was created at the Place de Bourse for the victims of the Brussels bombings was invaded by about 500 football hooligans yesterday. By chance, I was there just as they arrived and it was an intimidating experience. Chants, taunts, teasing, confrontations and hand gestures, salutes, profanities were a constant. Police were a strong presence, holding them at bay and then, eventually, pressing them from the square.
The hooligans tried to unfurl a banner reading ‘Fascists Against Terrorism’, but were prevented by the people already present. There was a constant resistance to the hooligans presence, but some people were really admirable. Young women standing toe-to-toe against the balaclava clad hooligans, completely refusing their politic, their voice.
The police finally managed to press the hooligans from the Place, then used water canons to disperse them. And the people attending the memorial went about returning the flowers and gifts to an upright position after a few hooligans had run across them, disturbing the scene. An hour later, we were, again, watching a man make giant soap bubbles as a small amusement.

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