A prominent Flemish MP and city councillor climbed to the roof of Antwerp's city hall to call for an end to the "occupation of our city by Islam."
Filip Dewinter, a leader of the nationalist-populist Vlaams Belang party in the Flanders region of Belgium, released a video of himself standing beside a golden eagle which sits atop the building.
Bij het begin van het politieke werkjaar een bijzonder initiatief: een statement vanop het dak van het Antwerpse stadhuis geflankeerd door een pas gerestaureerde adelaar! #HetStadIsVanOns @VBAntwerpen #Antwerpen pic.twitter.com/0x3528eLM2— Filip Dewinter (@FDW_VB) September 5, 2019
"At the beginning of the political year a special initiative: a statement from the roof of the Antwerp town hall, flanked by a recently restored eagle!" Dewinter wrote on social media.
Dewinter offered a brief history lesson about the city and its relationship with freedom amid centuries of warfare and violent chaos, according to a transcription provided by SCEPTR.
"This town hall has been around since 1565," Dewinter said. "In those five centuries that the town hall has existed, it was besieged, set on fire and has experienced countless revolutions, wars and invasions of our city. This town hall symbolises the freedom of Antwerp."
"It is not without reason that the office of the mayor of Antwerp is made of the wood of the tree of freedom that used to stand just in front of the town hall on the Grote Markt. Freedom is the essence of what the people of Antwerp believe in."
"This city was occupied by the Romans, the Spaniards, the French, the Germans, and today by Islam," Dewinter concluded. "Antwerp today is almost 25 percent Muslim, more than half of the schoolchildren in primary urban education are Muslim, our city has more than 65 mosques. This must stop. There must be an end to the occupation of our city by Islam."
It is believed that Dewinter may reached the rooftop by scaling scaffolding currently erected at the building for renovation work, and he could face a fine for the stunt.
Antwerp has been the site of recent escalations of car bombings and hand grenade crimes, which many believe can be traced to foreign gangs operating in the city.
In July, dozens of African migrants terrorized an Antwerp neighborhood for hours when the party they were attending was shut down after it had spiraled out of control.
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