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Author Topic: More and more protest in Belgium against statues Leopold II  (Read 4574 times)
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Principessa

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« on: June 09, 2020, 02:43:11 PM »

https://nos.nl/artikel/23...ndbeelden-leopold-ii.html

More and more protest in Belgium against statues Leopold II

In recent days, statues of former King Leopold II have been defaced or destroyed in various places in Belgium. The protests in the US were prompted by the violent death of George Floyd, coupled with the upcoming sixtieth anniversary of the independence of Congo.

Leopold II was king from 1865 to 1909. He is controversial in Belgium for his role in the then Belgian colony of the Congo Free State in Central Africa. He conducted a very violent colonial regime there. In the wingewest, which was in private possession of the Belgian king, the black population was exploited and tortured for decades, resulting in millions of deaths.

Chopped off hands
Leopold II was never in the Congo himself, but did benefit from the proceeds from, among other things, the rubber harvests to finance large construction projects in Belgium. The exploitation of the black population was accompanied by horrific punishments such as chopping off hands, torture and beheading.


In several Belgian cities there are statues in memory of the former king. These have been defaced and / or destroyed in several places in recent days. This happened in Brussels, Ghent, Ostend, Ekeren, Halle, Hasselt and in the Africa Museum in Tervuren, among others.

In Ostend, a hand was chopped off from the statue of the king years ago. Nevertheless, Mayor Tommelein does not think of removing the controversial image. "I don't think that by removing statues, racism will disappear. I think we should also say clearly that Leopold II has played a very important role in our city and we don't want to minimize that," he told VRT.

Earlier, an information board was already placed at the statue explaining the role of the king in the former colony and that is enough, according to Tommelein.

"
Is this really the image we want to give tourists of Brussels?

Noah (14) about his petition to remove statues of Leopold II



There is a different opinion in Brussels. The majority parties in the Brussels parliament have appealed to the Brussels government to decolonize public space in the Brussels region. A petition to remove all statues of Leopold II from Brussels has also been signed 45,000 times.

The petition was started by 14-year-old Noah. According to the teenager, with a Congolese background, images like this no longer belong in Brussels, a city where people of nearly 200 nationalities live. "So many tourists come to Brussels every year. Is this really the image we want to give them of this city?" He asks in an article in De Standaard. "You don't see a statue of Adolf Hitler in Berlin, do you?"

"You put on armor"
The death of George Floyd and the protests against it in America got him thinking about the situation in Belgium. "I suddenly realized that there are so many things that are not normal, things that I have considered normal so far. I bet that all black people in Belgium have experienced something because of their skin color. After a while you end up armor, to stop feeling emotions when you experience something racist. I'm afraid I have to wear that armor for the rest of my life. "

Noah hopes that on June 30, the sixtieth anniversary of the independence of Congo, at least one statue of Leopold II, who is on the Troonplein, disappeared from the Brussels street scene. "That would be a nice symbol for many people from the Belgian-Congolese community."
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 02:47:56 PM »

https://nos.nl/artikel/23...eopold-ii-weggehaald.html


Destroyed statue of Belgian former king Leopold II removed

In Ekeren, Belgium, the statue of former King Leopold II has been removed. The artwork was set on fire last week and was repeatedly daubed with red paint. The heavily damaged statue is cleaned and restored in the Antwerp open-air museum Middelheim.

According to district president Koen Palinckx of the Flemish nationalist N-VA, the chance that the image will return is "very small", writes Het Laatste Nieuws. He calls a definitive placement in the open air museum "definitely an option".

The square where the statue stood will be reconstructed in 2023. According to the Antwerp channel ATV, the image would already be removed during the redesign.

Controversial
Last week statues of Leopold II were destroyed in various places in Belgium, including in Brussels, Ghent and at the Africa Museum in Tervuren. The reasons are probably the protests in the US after the violent death of George Floyd and the sixtieth anniversary of the independence of Congo.

The former king is controversial in Belgium because of his very violent rule in the former colony of the Congo-Free State. In the wingewest, which was in private possession of the Belgian king, the black population was exploited and tortured for decades, resulting in millions of deaths.
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 02:51:37 PM »

https://isgeschiedenis.nl...het-bewind-van-leopold-ii

Abuses in Congo under the Leopold II rule

A petition has been circulated in Belgium calling for the removal of all statues of Leopold II from the streets of Brussels. Why is the figure of Leopold II so controversial?


Until the mid-18th century, Congo remained relatively free from European colonialism. Fierce local resistance combined with the jungles, swamps and diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness meant that Europeans seldom ventured into the Congolese interior. This changed in the second half of the 19th century with the Scramble for Africa, where all of Africa was divided among the European superpowers.

Congo Free State
King Leopold II of Belgium was granted the crown possession of the Congo at the Colonial Conference of Berlin in 1884, in which Africa was divided among the great powers. From 1876 he had become more and more interested in Central Africa and in 1879 had sponsored an exploration by Henry Morton Stanley. He campaigned for a long time to bring the area under his rule and was rewarded for it at the conference. The Congo Free State did not become a Belgian colony, but a kind of private property of King Leopold. He had to promise that he would give other European countries access to the resources of Congo and that he would treat the population well.

Blood rubber
In practice, good treatment of the population did not come to pass. It took Leopold a while to figure out how to make the most money in his African territories. However, the rubber boom of the last decades of the 19th century caused the prices of rubber to rise enormously. Congo turned out to have a good climate for the rubber tendrils, after which Leopold mobilized the entire population to harvest rubber. A rubber quota was imposed on every village, which had to be met at all costs. The quota fulfillment was controlled by the Force Publique, the colonial army, and failure to supply enough rubber could be punishable by death. The harvested rubber was later given the name blood rubber, because many people died while fulfilling the quotas.
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 04:00:36 PM »

Fascinating, Principessa. Thank you for sharing.

I was an exchange student in Belgium in the 1980s. I don’t recall much discussion about Congo or Leopoldo at that time. But I was into teenage things. I just remember that schooling for teens seemed strict, hard, and very intense. And Ypres was beautiful and sad.
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 04:32:21 PM »

Fascinating, Principessa. Thank you for sharing.

I was an exchange student in Belgium in the 1980s. I don’t recall much discussion about Congo or Leopoldo at that time. But I was into teenage things. I just remember that schooling for teens seemed strict, hard, and very intense. And Ypres was beautiful and sad.

During my University years we spend about two years into our studies with Belgian students (as an experiment for an international cooperation). Even as we are neighbouring countries our experiences with and within the school system and related were so different. In general in the end we Dutch learned to study harder (we needed to as the Belgian got better grades) and the Belgian students became louder. The last change is not mentioned negatively, but positively.
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2020, 06:27:56 PM »



English speakers, this is an excellent guide to Leopold and the Congo. It doesn't shy away from the hideous crimes committed in order to create and maintain a Belgian colony.

There's a photo reproduced in the book which I won't share here, but I cannot forget it,. It shows a Congolese man sat looking a severed hand and foot which belonged to his 5 year old daughter.

It's estimated that 10 million Africans died as a result of Leopold colonising the Congo. He was a butcher and I'm glad to see at least one of his statues taken down.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2020, 06:56:59 PM »

This is important information thank you. There is certainly a global movement happening and I am glad for it may we get to the promised land together. I hope that Phil Til and the wafflets do not interfere and if ever asked admit that it is time for a reckoning. I mean Robert E Lee's great great grandson wants his ancestor's legacy to no longer be applauded.
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 08:52:49 AM »



English speakers, this is an excellent guide to Leopold and the Congo. It doesn't shy away from the hideous crimes committed in order to create and maintain a Belgian colony.

There's a photo reproduced in the book which I won't share here, but I cannot forget it,. It shows a Congolese man sat looking a severed hand and foot which belonged to his 5 year old daughter.

It's estimated that 10 million Africans died as a result of Leopold colonising the Congo. He was a butcher and I'm glad to see at least one of his statues taken down.

this is a book I could NOT finish. It was soo sad and so savage and full of abuse that it broke my heart at the cruely inflicted wontonly in the name of greed, gold, and god. upon innocent unsuspecting 'natives'. Dead

ghastly man. I was waiting until they got to him...


G
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2020, 09:48:43 AM »



English speakers, this is an excellent guide to Leopold and the Congo. It doesn't shy away from the hideous crimes committed in order to create and maintain a Belgian colony.

There's a photo reproduced in the book which I won't share here, but I cannot forget it,. It shows a Congolese man sat looking a severed hand and foot which belonged to his 5 year old daughter.

It's estimated that 10 million Africans died as a result of Leopold colonising the Congo. He was a butcher and I'm glad to see at least one of his statues taken down.

this is a book I could NOT finish. It was soo sad and so savage and full of abuse that it broke my heart at the cruely inflicted wontonly in the name of greed, gold, and god. upon innocent unsuspecting 'natives'. Dead

ghastly man. I was waiting until they got to him...


G

It's one of the hardest books I have ever read. The scale of the cruelty was just beyond comprehension.
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2020, 10:10:22 AM »

Was Leopoldville named in honor of King Leopold II?
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2020, 02:05:41 PM »

Was Leopoldville named in honor of King Leopold II?

According to Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinshasa) :

"...The city was colonized as a trading post by Henry Morton Stanley in 1881. It was named Léopoldville in honour of King Leopold II of the Belgians, who controlled the Congo Free State, the vast territory that is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, not as a colony but as a private property...."

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Principessa

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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2020, 02:26:59 PM »

By the way there are 2 seperate nations named Congo in Africa. To avoid confusion often the name of the capital city is added to the name Congo (Congo-Kinhasa & Congo-Brazzaville)

1.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: République démocratique du Congo), also known as DR Congo, the DRC (the official acronym), DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It was formerly called Zaire (1971–1997). It is, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa (after Algeria), and the 11th-largest in the world.  With a population of over 84 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populous country in Africa, and the 16th-most-populous country in the world. The Eastern DR Congo has been the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015. This Congo is the former Belgian Congo, the private property of King Leopold II of the Belgians. He named it the Congo Free State. Nearly all  infrastructure projects initiated by Leopold were aimed at making it easier to increase the assets which Leopold and his associates could extract from the colony. In the Free State, colonists coerced the local population into producing rubber, for which the spread of automobiles and development of rubber tires created a growing international market. Rubber sales made a fortune for Leopold, who built several buildings in Brussels and Ostend to honor himself and his country. To enforce the rubber quotas, the army, the Force Publique, was called in and made the practice of cutting off the limbs of the natives a matter of policy. During the period of 1885–1908, millions of Congolese died as a consequence of exploitation and disease. In some areas the population declined dramatically – it has been estimated that sleeping sickness and smallpox killed nearly half the population in the areas surrounding the lower Congo RiverNews of the abuses began to circulate. In 1904, the British consul at Boma in the Congo, Roger Casement was instructed by the British government to investigate. His report, called the Casement Report, confirmed the accusations of humanitarian abuses. The Belgian Parliament forced Leopold II to set up an independent commission of inquiry. Its findings confirmed Casement's report of abuses, concluding that the population of the Congo had been "reduced by half" during this period.Determining precisely how many people died is impossible, as no accurate records exist. In 1908, the Belgian parliament, in spite of initial reluctance, bowed to international pressure (especially from the United Kingdom) and took over the Free State from King Leopold II.The Belgian parliament exercised legislative authority over the Belgian Congo. Opening up the Congo and its natural and mineral riches to the Belgian economy remained the main motive for colonial expansion – however, other priorities, such as healthcare and basic education, slowly gained in importance. The Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name "République du Congo" ("Republic of Congo" or "Republic of the Congo" in English). As the neighboring French colony of Middle Congo (Moyen Congo) also chose the name "Republic of Congo" upon achieving its independence, the two countries were more commonly known as "Congo-Léopoldville" and "Congo-Brazzaville", after their capital cities. Then in 1965 the time of (dictator?)Mobutu arrived  A constitutional referendum the year before Mobutu's coup of 1965 resulted in the country's official name being changed to the "Democratic Republic of the Congo." In 1971 Mobutu changed the name again, this time to "Republic of Zaire" Corruption became so common the term "le mal Zairois" or "Zairian Sickness", meaning gross corruption, theft and mismanagement, was coined, reportedly by Mobutu himself. In a campaign to identify himself with African nationalism, starting on 1 June 1966, Mobutu renamed the nation's cities: Léopoldville became Kinshasa (the country was now Congo-Kinshasa), Stanleyville became Kisangani, Elisabethville became Lubumbashi, and Coquilhatville became Mbandaka. This renaming campaign was completed in the 1970s. The Congo River was renamed the Zaire River. In 1996-1997 the First Congo War. The coalition allied with some opposition figures, led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila, becoming the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL). In 1997 Mobutu fled and Kabila marched into Kinshasa, named himself president, and reverted the name of the country to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kabila was assassinated in 2001. His son Joseph Kabila succeeded him and called for multilateral peace talks. UN peacekeepers, MONUC, now known as MONUSCO, arrived in April 2001. A new election took place in October 2006, which Kabila won, and in December 2006 he was sworn in as President. In the country with or without influence of groups from Rwanda rebellious fights broke out over time. In 2015, major protests broke out across the country and protesters demanded that Joseph Kabila step down as President.According to Jan Egeland, presently Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, the situation in the DRC became much worse in 2016 and 2017 and is a major moral and humanitarian challenge comparable to the wars in Syria and Yemen, which receive much more attention. Women and children are abused sexually and "abused in all possible manners". Besides the conflict in North Kivu, violence has gone up in the Kasai region. The armed groups are after gold, diamonds, oil, and cobalt to line the pockets of rich men both in the region and internationally. There are also ethnic and cultural rivalries at play, as well as religious motives and the political crisis with postponed elections. He says people believe the situation in the DRC is "stably bad" but in fact, it has become much, much worse. "The big wars of the Congo that were really on top of the agenda 15 years ago are back and worsening". On 30 December the Democratic Republic of the Congo general election, 2018 was held. On 10 January 2019, the electoral commission announced opposition candidate Félix Tshisekedi as the winner of the presidential vote He was officially sworn in as President on 24 January 2019 Hoewever there are rumours of corruption.


2.
The Republic of the Congo (French: République du Congo, Kongo: Repubilika ya Kôngo), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic, RDC (the official abbreviation), RotC, or simply the Congo, is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa. This Congo was formerly part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa. The Republic of the Congo was established on 28 November 1958 and gained independence from France in 1960. It was a Marxist–Leninist state from 1969 to 1992, under the name People's Republic of the Congo.  The sovereign state has had multi-party elections since 1992, although a democratically elected government was ousted in the 1997 Republic of the Congo Civil War, and President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who first came to power in 1979, has ruled for 35 of the past 40 years.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 02:40:04 PM by Principessa » Logged
Principessa

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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2020, 02:40:49 PM »

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Belgium’s Prince Laurent: ‘Leopold II never went to Congo’
https://www.brusselstimes...d-ii-never-went-to-congo/

Quote
Prince Laurent of Belgium said he did not see how King Leopold II could have harmed Congolese people because “he never went” to the Congo, which he personally owned for decades.

“He never went to Congo himself,” Laurent, the younger brother of Belgium’s King Philippe, said in an interview with Sudpresse.

Laurent’s statements come amid a surge in support for the removal of monuments honouring the colonial king, who declared himself sole owner of the Congo Free State in the late 1800s. Several statues of Leopold II have already been taken down, with many others defaced as anti-racism movements gain steam across the world, fueled by the police killing of US Black American George Floyd.

Extensive accounts and records of forced labour and systemic brutality characterised Belgian occupation of the Congo, which Leopold ran through the brutal Force Publique, tasked with enforcing rubber quotas and overseeing labour at the fields.

“I do not see how he could have made people there suffer,” he added. “You must know that there were many people that worked for Leopold II, and they were really abusive — but that does not mean that Leopold II was abusive.”

“Just look at what King Leopold II did for Belgium and you will understand,” he added, referring to Leopold’s reputation as the ‘Builder King’ of Belgium for the numerous public works he ordered, many financed through the exploitation of Congo’s people and resources.

During his reign, Leopold ordered and oversaw the construction of, among several others, Brussels’ landmark triumphal arch in Parc du Cinquantenaire, of the Hippodrome Wellington in Ostend and of the Africa Museum in Tervuren, which was filled with a large collection of colonial artefacts. Personal properties built and acquired, including the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken and numerous massive estates, were donated to the state-owned Royal Trust on the condition that they remain at the disposal of the royal family.

In the interview, Laurent also said that whenever he met a head of state from Africa he “always presented his excuses for what Europeans had done to Africans in general.”
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2020, 02:49:08 PM »

Sit down, dumba**.

Your regime created perverse incentives that led to horrific abuse of people unable to defend themselves.  Your ancestor may not have wielded the sword, but he gave those that did a reason to lose their humanity.  He is culpable.  Delegation does not equal abrogation.

Sit your privileged a** down and be quiet.
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2020, 02:50:03 PM »

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Belgium’s Prince Laurent: ‘Leopold II never went to Congo’
https://www.brusselstimes...d-ii-never-went-to-congo/

Quote
Prince Laurent of Belgium said he did not see how King Leopold II could have harmed Congolese people because “he never went” to the Congo, which he personally owned for decades.

“He never went to Congo himself,” Laurent, the younger brother of Belgium’s King Philippe, said in an interview with Sudpresse.

Laurent’s statements come amid a surge in support for the removal of monuments honouring the colonial king, who declared himself sole owner of the Congo Free State in the late 1800s. Several statues of Leopold II have already been taken down, with many others defaced as anti-racism movements gain steam across the world, fueled by the police killing of US Black American George Floyd.

Extensive accounts and records of forced labour and systemic brutality characterised Belgian occupation of the Congo, which Leopold ran through the brutal Force Publique, tasked with enforcing rubber quotas and overseeing labour at the fields.

“I do not see how he could have made people there suffer,” he added. “You must know that there were many people that worked for Leopold II, and they were really abusive — but that does not mean that Leopold II was abusive.”

“Just look at what King Leopold II did for Belgium and you will understand,” he added, referring to Leopold’s reputation as the ‘Builder King’ of Belgium for the numerous public works he ordered, many financed through the exploitation of Congo’s people and resources.

During his reign, Leopold ordered and oversaw the construction of, among several others, Brussels’ landmark triumphal arch in Parc du Cinquantenaire, of the Hippodrome Wellington in Ostend and of the Africa Museum in Tervuren, which was filled with a large collection of colonial artefacts. Personal properties built and acquired, including the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken and numerous massive estates, were donated to the state-owned Royal Trust on the condition that they remain at the disposal of the royal family.

In the interview, Laurent also said that whenever he met a head of state from Africa he “always presented his excuses for what Europeans had done to Africans in general.”


Si tacuisses philosophus mansisses.  Dash2 Dash2

I wonder how many sleepless nights he has costed poor Phil until today.
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