Small riot in Belgium. No Britons hurt.
One of the stories that has been bubbling away this summer virtually unnoticed in the British press is the political crisis in Belgium that has left the country without a government since June. Not that the Belgians seem to care very much about not having a government. Lying under the Flemish movement for a split of Europe's most boring nation is a strong anti-Islamic thread.
Anyone who has walked from Grote Markt to the Eurostar terminal to catch the cheap late-evening service will understand Flemish nervousness about the city's very large and very Islamic Moroccan population. There is a palpable sense of threat. The Eurostar terminal mall itself is filled with aimless groups of Moroccan young men who don't exactly exude friendliness. The ethnic and racial divisions in Belgium seem very much more sharply drawn than is my experience in London.
So when the Belgian authorities banned an anti-Islamization demo in Brussels, and the demonstrators went ahead anyway, there was bound to be a confrontation. It it alleged that the authorities brought in a Walloon police brigade who treated the largely Flemish demonstrators harshly. This website is worth reading.
Anyway, a tip for any yotties after a cheap courtesy flag for Ostend (for non-yotties, it is customary to fly a small version of the flag of the country whose waters you are entering in addition to your own national flag, as a courtesy) - the Flemish lion (as in the pic above) is available from HERE at the bargain price of €2.50 plus €0.75 postage to the UK.