Europe is quashing Freedom of Speech
And David Icke is the fall guy
Commotion in the Netherlands. British author David Icke was scheduled to speak at the "No war, just peace" demonstration at the peace monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam last Sunday, November 6th.
As a writer, Icke is best known for his belief that the world is secretly ruled by extraterrestrial reptiles. That may also have been the inspiration for Forum for Democracy front-runner Thierry Baudet's statement a few weeks ago about the "reptilian elite" allegedly ruling us. Now, an elite it certainly is and they do often speak with forked tongues, but whether they also lay eggs I dare doubt. David Icke seizes just about every crisis - and thus also the Corona crisis - to peddle his strange theory - and especially his self-published books. Icke is not only a writer, he’s also a an entrepreneur.
David Icke - Photo: ©David Icke
Just as a broken clock indicates the correct time twice a day, Icke has made predictions in the past that now turn out to be true. Not about the world domination of the cold-blooded, but rather about macroeconomics, the banking crisis and the financial system. It's like shooting hail, if you bang wildly around often enough you will always hit something.
So up until now, David Icke has just been a bit of a bizarre author.However, his planned speech at the Amsterdam peace demonstration where he was to speak for half an hour caused alarm among the authorities. Who knows why, because the man may be talking nonsense, but he has never called for violence, for hatred or for armed revolution. Nor has he openly suggested on television that it would be better to liquidate Dutch member of parliament Thierry Baudet, as irritating Dutch television personality Johan Derksen recently did. Derksen got off with a slap on the wrist.
Not so David Icke. The "reptile man" who normally wouldn't even get the proverbial two men and a lizard to watch his speeches, was declared public enemy number one. For that, a nice one-two punch was played between the Dutch Center for Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI) and the government.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE CIDI
Shortly after it became known that Icke had been invited to speak in Amsterdam, the CIDI published an article on their website titled, "No stage for anti-Semite, Holocaust denier and conspiracy theorist David Icke." Immediately the article was picked up by all Dutch newspapers, because every journalist obviously checks the CIDI website for news several times a day. That speaks volumes. Especially the smuggled-in term "Holocaust denier" did the trick, because although that is not (yet) punishable in the Netherlands, according to the European Court of Human Rights it does not fall under the protection of freedom of speech. That Icke is not a Holocaust denier at all and kept repeating it ad nauseam was irrelevant. That he believes in a conspiracy of alien reptiles is hard to deny but to this day that is not a punishable offense. I remember when I was a child everyone was fascinated by the book "The Gods were Astronauts" by the Swiss author Erich von Däniken. The man sold 60 million copies of it worldwide so far. Von Däniken was never dismissed as a conspiracy theorist back then. The word probably had not yet been invented. Also, the followers of religions, monotheistic and others, who believe in an invisible force that guides the universe, in angels and devils, djinns and cherubim or avatars of Brahma are -fortunately- not persecuted.
(Cover of The Gods were Astronauts. Fun fact: the original German title was: Were the Gods Cosmonauts?, but that sounded too Russian for the American readers, so they changed the cosmonauts for astronauts)
BARRED FROM ENTERING 26 EU COUNTRIES
Whether Icke is an anti-Semite I do not know, I am not an connoisseur of his writings. It could be, but even that is not punishable, and in any case he would then be in the company of most of the followers of the Prophet's religion, who have never been prosecuted for their opinion.
Yet Icke was immediately denied entry to the territory for two years by the Netherlands' immigration authorities. Because of the Schengen agreement, that means he is also barred from entering the 26 European countries. The reason: the Amsterdam police report states that his actions would disrupt public order. The report refers to newspaper articles and the CIDI website. An old one-two, as I already said.
ABOUT FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Freedom of speech not only exist for smart people or people you agree with, it’s also there for weird and stupid people and opinions you might loath. Some opinions might be hurtful for you but not for others. It’s an emotion. We can’t build law and rights on emotions, how sad and painful they personally might be. Sometimes, over time, the view on those opinions change. In many European countries denying the Holocaust is now punishable. But denying the Armenian genocide by the Turks is no crime. Denying the Hutu genocide in Rwanda either. Where’s the difference? Without minimising the unmentionable suffering of the Jewish people in the Holocaust, but are laws agains denying genocides just a case of lobbying the right genocide? Meddling with laws on freedom of expression is a very slippery slope.
In our world we need the broadest possible public discussion where nobody’s excluded, not even the dumb or the weird.
To say that David Icke’s opinions are somewhat weird is an understatement. That one country can decide that such an innocent weirdo will be denied traveling to 26 European countries for the next two years is a travesty.
As the French philosopher Voltaire put it already in the 18th century: “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.
At the end the organizers of the Peace Rally in Amsterdam cancelled the whole thing. And of course, that was the intention of the Dutch government from the beginning. This was never about the person David Icke and his right to free speech, it was about quashing the democratic right to demonstrate for peace and thus against the European aid to the US proxy war in Ukraine. And David Icke? I think he might just be happy with all the publicity he got out of this. Book sales will go up. As long as they won’t be banned, that is.
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