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Fake newspaper sounds alarm about rise of far-right in Belgium

09:05 25/01/2024

A fake newspaper has been distributed in Brussels and Wallonia as part of an awareness-raising action intended to draw attention to the rise of far-right political beliefs in Belgium.

Called Vraiment, the paper consists of a series of articles presenting the speeches, projects and decisions taken by ‘Just Us’, a fictional far-right political party presented as having recently come to power in the imaginary country of Dystonia.

The Centre d'action laïque (CAL), or Secular Action Centre, is distributing the fake newspapers to draw attention to the dangers of the far right in the run-up to the 2024 elections.

“It has to be said that this fiction is not that far removed from reality," CAL said. "Each article is based on a real political situation currently being observed in a European country or elsewhere in the world.

"In other words, it wouldn't take much to go from the improbable to reality."

A QR code in the newspaper links to a website, where each article is decoded for educational purposes.

Some of the articles are deliberately provocative, for example, an announcement that air and drinking water will no longer be available to everyone, but only to the most deserving.

“This newspaper is a fiction – the far right is not,” CAL said.

CAL intends to “make everyone aware that the elections are approaching and that the far right is on the rise in a worrying way throughout Europe, including in our country”; said its president Véronique De Keyser.

“The predictions even show that the leading party in Belgium could be a Flemish party that we consider to be on the extreme right,” De Keyser said, adding that the newspaper is “a kind of educational tool that's a bit playful” and the aim is not to castigate voters (or potential voters) of the far right.

“We hope that readers will think: ‘But this what I was expecting, this isn't the right solution’.”

The awareness-raising operation is part of the group's continuing education campaign ‘Extremism, our prison’, which aims to “encourage reflection, analysis and debate on extremism of all kinds, whether political, left-wing, right-wing or religious”, according to the association.

“On the eve of an election year which, in Belgium, will concern all levels of power, from Europe to the commune, the faux journal Vraiment focuses more particularly on the extreme right,” the association said.

“Throughout the forthcoming election campaigns, the Centre d'action laïque will be out and about, meeting people and taking the time to debate, deconstruct and explain the reality of the far-right's programme.”

Written by Helen Lyons



It would have been nice if you included a link to their website.

Jan 25, 2024 09:54