On 8 November, the student council of the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, VUB) refused to recognise a student Marxist society, set up by the IMT in Brussels (Vonk – Marxistische jongeren), on the grounds that our organisation is… anti-sexist, anti-racist and anti-fascist! We reiterate: this was a decision taken by the majority of the student council, not the university bosses.

The former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, once again resides in Belgium. He first fled to the country in order to escape conviction for sedition and rebellion by the Spanish state after he (formally) declared the independence of Catalonia on 27 October 2017. Ever since, the Spanish government and judiciary have tried to convince other European states to arrest him and send him back to Spain for trial. So far, they have been unsuccessful. Following a short period during which he was under arrest in Germany, Puigdemont is now back in Belgium.

Yet again we saw this morning the ruthless killing of innocent people as they went about their daily lives. Marxists condemn such acts of terror, in the same way that they condemn the killing of thousands of people in Syria and other war-torn countries. The point is: what can be done to put an end to this barbarism?

Despite a harsh blizzard and traffic disruptions 250 people braved the weather to gather in Brussels, at the buildings of the Christian trade union CSC/ACV, to pay homage to the recently deceased President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Erik Demeester of the Hands Off Venezuela (HOV) campaign and Veronique Coteur of Intal explained the political significance of the gathering: ‘Hugo Chavez was not only a president of Venezuela. He was above all an international revolutionary leader.

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