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Hundreds gather for anti-racism "wedding"


World

Hundreds gather for anti-racism "wedding"

Hundreds of Belgian couples braved freezing conditions in the Flemish town of St Niklaas last night for a wedding with a difference. The symbolic ceremony was in response to a snub of deputy mayor Wouter Van Bellingen. Last month, three couples refused to let him marry them. The Rwandan-born councillor claims the decision was a result of racism.

Van Bellingen became the first black councillor in the northern Flanders region after last October’s election.

The 34-year-old, who represents a moderate nationalist party, believes his election is symbolic of growing opposition to racism in a city where the anti-immigration party Vlaams Belang got 26 percent of the vote.

Groom Geere Brokken said he wanted to make a stand: “We were indignant that people refused to marry because of someone’s skin colour, you cannot judge people, you just can’t, that’s why we want to make a statement against this,” he said.

The day’s events were timed to coincide with the International Day against Racism.

Prodi under pressure over hostage release

World

Prodi under pressure over hostage release