Protests in Belgium – Until the end of June the Ex-king Leopold II disappearance of The Anti-racism should be protests in the US are fuelling the debate about Belgian colonial history and the legacies of Ex-king Leopold II Stephan Israel from Brüssel0 KommentareBei the Anti-racism protests in Belgium, the anger is also directed against statues of king Leopold II photo: Yves Herman / Reuters

First, the Unknown blood poured red paint over the Statue, the Pedestal with Graffiti covered. Then they tried it with fire and robbed of Belgium, Ex-king Leopold II, the sword, the Monarch of stone was based. Meanwhile, the life-size Statue in Ekeren, near Antwerp, is so damaged that it had to be removed on Monday by a crane.

The Anti-racism protests in the US are fuelling in Belgium, the debate about Ex-king Leopold II and his legacy. But what has this to do with the police violence in the United States with the colonial history of a 190-year-old monarchy in Europe? It’s many things. The Belgians, Leopold II. learning in the school as the king who built the country and made Brussels a city with European charisma.

colonial history and everyday racism

the Monarch of Belgium building with income from his private colony, financed in the Congo, however, it is also no secret . In the meantime, only the Congolese Diaspora in Belgium, don’t mind that the former colonial power, has not dealt with your bloody story at all. The Congolese community is concerned, as the former immigrants from North Africa, but, of course, the police violence and discrimination in the Belgian daily, search for a Job or an apartment.

“We do not have to pay these victims as in the US, but the brutality of the police in Belgium, new dimensions,” says Mireille Theusi Robert, President of the government of independent Bamko. In the case of the Black – Lives-Matter-protest in Brussels was also reminded of the two young people Adil and Mehdi, who came in the last few months on the run from a police control in Brussels killed. Many young people from immigrant families would have the feeling of what had happened in the United States, George Floyd, the young African-American who suffocated under the knee of a police officer, it could happen to you also, says activist Mireille Theusi Robert.

And again, the protests focus in the last few days on the Leopold-statues. In Ghent, a bust of Leopold, was showered with red paint. “I can’t breathe”, someone has painted the last words of George Floyd on it. Some people see between the not dealt with colonial history and the everyday racism of a continuity. Almost every town has a Statue, in Brussels, a mighty king Leopold II sits in a Central position on top of a horse. “Assassin” (murderer) have sprayed Unknown during the last rally on the Socket. Add to this the streets and squares are named after the monarch. The Brussels headquarters of Nato is located on Boulevard Leopold II.

Statue of mass murderer

“no one can imagine that, in Germany, statues of Hitler, or places are named after a mass murderer,” said Mireille Theusi Robert of the NGO Bamko. King Leopold had just been a mass murderer like Hitler. Belgium’s second king Leopold, controlled the Congo from 1885, as a private colony was raw materials yields and bring it into Europe. In 1908, he left the vast territory of the Belgian state, the operation of the over-exploitation until the independence of Congo in 1960 further.

Depending on the estimate up to ten million in the Congo to read, or one-third of the then population, during the reign of Leopold lost his life. The Monarch continued, although himself never a foot in the Congo. But the colonial regime is considered to be particularly cruel. Leopold’s statement, democratic Republic of the Congo chopping off the hands, if they refused the work had troops. For a human Zoo he had the turn of the Millennium, Africans to Brussels, and died there, in part to the cold and unknown diseases.

A damaged sculpture of the former king Leopold II in Ekeren, near Antwerp.Photo: Bart Biesemans / Reuters

The Belgians would know Leopold as king, have built your country, activist Mireille Theusi Robert. However, Belgium’s build-up had been financed in large part with the theft from the Congo. The younger Generation don’t want to displace inspired by the Anti-racism protests in the US any longer. Two online petitions, one from a 14-Year-old launched, have United in a record time of over 60’000 signatures. The claim: Up to 30. June, the 60. Anniversary of the independence of the Congo, to disappear Leopold, of all places. In Ekeren, near Antwerp, the authorities have already made the beginning. The damaged Statue is now to be restored and maybe later placed in a Museum.

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