Help us get our permission back to organize Cubes in Antwerp
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The mayor of Antwerp (Belgium), Bart De Wever, has forbidden Anonymous for the Voiceless to organize ‘Cube of Truth’ events in his city. We have received an official refusal stating that “Children will see the shocking footage” - which is not allowed according to them - and that “It is forbidden to walk around with masks”.
We believe that “Children will see the shocking footage” does not justify the prohibition of our activism for the following reasons:
- There isn’t a law prohibiting the exposure of graphic footage to children to the best of our knowledge.
- The same or similar footage is regularly being broadcasted on national television.
- Children on a busy street should always be accompanied by a guardian who then decides whether or not the child is allowed to view the footage.
- In the event of a child being alone, it is forbidden by AV rules that activists show the footage to the child i.e. consent is always needed from a guardian.
- Children, like everyone, have the right to know how their food is being produced so they can make informed decisions in their life.
- We can use disclaimers that warn about the graphic content of the footage if necessary.
It is indeed by law forbidden to be unrecognizable in the city of Antwerp, unless you have a permission by the police. We believe we deserve a permission to wear masks because of the following reasons:
- Activists who are wearing masks are not walking around, but standing still on the same spot.
- We are peaceful activists, not disturbing the public order in any way. So we have no problem in being observed by the police.
- Masks attract the attention of passerby and puts the focus on the footage being presented. It is therefore an important part for the effectiveness of our activism.
- Masks makes the activists in ‘the cube’ anonymous, therefore representing any member of society, giving them the ability to hide their facial expressions and ignore possible verbal abuse from passerby.
- The masks and the black dress code give our cubes uniformity, thus also making it an act of art.
- In Brussels, masks are allowed for our activism.
Furthermore we regard this prohibition as a violation of our human right of freedom of speech. The right to demonstrate an opinion, especially when it challenges the present system, is a fundamental component of a democratic society.
We are willing to make a compromise in our activism and not wear the masks (since we don't consider it to be the main issue) in order for us to promote this message of peace, even though we hope the mayor will reconsider.
Please sign this petition and help us get our permission back.
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