A Brussels gathering of hard-right, nationalist European politicians was disrupted on Tuesday after police moved in to try to force its shutdown. Officers were acting upon an order issued by the mayor of the Saint-Josse Ten Noode region of the Belgian capital on public safety grounds. The move has been criticised by Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who described the police’s intervention as “unacceptable.” “Municipal autonomy is a cornerstone of our democracy but can never overrule the Belgian constitution guaranteeing the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly since 1830,” De Croo said. “Banning political meetings is unconstitutional, full stop,” the Prime Minister added. The likes of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, French far-right candidate Eric Zemmour and former Polish Prime Minsiter Mateusz Morawiecki were all due to speak at the two-day National Conservatism (NatCon) conference in Brussels, which had struggled to secure a venue willing to host them in the Belgian capital. Brexit Party founder Nigel Farage was addressing the crowds at the Claridge venue in the Saint-Josse Ten Noode neighbourhood when police arrived with an order to close down the event around 12.30 CET on Tuesday. A Euronews reporter was on the ground as a police officer told the event organisers that “the authorities have decided to shut down the event,” and that he was present on-site to enforce that decision. The officer added that he had a three-page document outlining the grounds for the closure, which had been requested by the local mayor.  The National Conservatives are an alliance of politicians, public figures and scholars typically associated with the populist right that espouse both conservative and nationalist values, known for their strong Eurosceptic and anti-immigration stance. Speaking to journalists outside the event venue, organiser Tony Gilland – who is chief of staff for MCC Brussels, an Orbán-funded think tank that sponsored the event – said the public order also referred to a “counter-protest” expected later in the day.

via euronews: Brussels police shut down hard-right, nationalist gathering featuring Orbán, Farage and Braverman