Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

NatCon Brussels 2024: Free Speech Debate Puts the Brakes on Conference Plans

Emily Hudson By Emily Hudson Jun2,2024

The European edition of the National Conservativism conference has found itself embroiled in a cancellation row. It is reported the venue hosting the event was advised by a left-wing mayor to pull out.

The event, due to take place in Brussels, Belgium, between April 16 and 17, is the second Europe-wide NatCon conference and is due to be attended by former Home Secretary Suella Braverman and GB News presenter and Reform UK honorary president Nigel Farage.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is also due to speak at the event. A report published in The Brussels Times said that so-called anti-fascist groups were threatening the venue, demanding it cancel the event or see mass protests.

According to at least one outlet, and Yoram Hazony from the joint-organiser the Edmund Burke Foundation, it came under pressure from Brussels’ Socialist Party mayor Philippe Close to cancel the event.

The Concert Noble conference hall proceeded to axe the event, despite police reportedly stating that it was confident of being able to contain any protests.

But organisers of NatCon say the event will be going ahead, despite needing to change the venue. Yoram Hazony took to X to write: “NatCon Brussels 2 is going forward despite the mayor’s attempt to cancel the event.

“Me: If Brussels can’t host both sides of the argument, then maybe the capital of Europe can’t be in Brussels.”

In another post on X, reposted by Nigel Farage, co-organisers MCC Brussels wrote: “Numerous news outlets have asked about our experience with recent attempts to silence free speech in Brussels.

“Attempts by anti-democratic zealots to cancel the meeting will fail. Those supporting the meeting vow to never to bend the knee to threats and intimidation.

“NatCon was scheduled to be held in Brussels at Concert Noble on 16-17 April. However, the venue withdrew its interest in holding the event in a press statement on Friday evening. The venue cited fears about security following threats from anti-democratic “Antifa” organisations.

“As one of the organisations involved in the event we say that, despite the campaign of intimidation, the meeting will proceed as planned.

“A new venue in the Brussels region will be announced for the event on 16-17 April.”

Frank Furedi, a GB News regular and the director of MCC Brussels said: “What has happened in these last few days represents nothing less than a crisis for free speech and political expression for all of Europe.

“It is an absolute tragedy that cancel culture has been welcomed into Brussels: the very heart of the European Union. Everyone, regardless of political affiliation, should be concerned about what is happening here.

“The battle for free speech is now taking place, and all people of goodwill should be prepared to fight for all our rights to free thought and expression. We must tell the world they tried to cancel us in Brussels, but freedom will prevail.”

Emily Hudson

By Emily Hudson

Emily is a talented author who has published several bestselling novels in the mystery genre. With a knack for creating gripping plotlines and intriguing characters, Emily's works have captivated readers worldwide.

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2 thoughts on “NatCon Brussels 2024: Free Speech Debate Puts the Brakes on Conference Plans”
  1. Why is the left-wing mayor advising against the conference? What are the arguments for and against holding the NatCon event in Brussels?

    1. As far as I understand, the left-wing mayor is concerned about potential unrest and protests surrounding the NatCon event. The arguments for holding the event in Brussels include the principle of free speech and providing a platform for diverse viewpoints to be heard. On the other hand, the mayor may be prioritizing public safety and preventing any potential disturbances from escalating. It’s a complex debate with valid points on both sides.

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