Categories
Uncategorized

Open thread for discussion of Brussels bombings

The aftermath at the Brussels airport
The aftermath at the Brussels airport

UPDATED 5:36 AM central

There have been a series of bombings in Brussels, at the Brussels airport and one or more Metro stations. As I write this, different media outlets are reporting different numbers of those killed in the attacks, with figures ranging from 13 to 23.

Horrific. My heart goes out to all WHTM readers in Belgium; I hope you and yours are all safe.

Please post links to any useful information you find in the comments below.

This is a thread for the WHTM community (and others who are broadly sympathetic to feminism and this blog); MRAs and trolls will be banned.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

95 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

There’s a press conference scheduled for 10:00am Brussels time (about 2 minutes from now). Although as there are new developments that might get pushed back.

With the proviso that initial reports from events like this are often subject to review, here’s what the BBC are reporting:

Two almost simultaneous explosions at the airport. One on concourse, one on or near runway. Police say concourse one is suicide bomber.

Initial reports say 30 plus casualties. Including 11 dead.

Now reports coming in of explosions at one or more Metro stations.

Airport and Metro now closed.

Belgian police say they were on high alert in anticipation of retaliation from raids and arrests last week.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

I’m so sorry to hear about this. Violence begets violence.

This situation calls for calmness and restraint.

May it be so.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

To the WHTM readers in Brussels: My heart goes out to you. Stay strong. Stay safe.

Torn Feather
Torn Feather
4 years ago

Long time reader, first time poster.
And Belgian…

I’m currently at work, 600 meters away from the metro station where there has been an explosion (and 14 km away from the airport). I pass by that station on my way home every day…

News are scarce and everything is eerily quiet here.

Public transportations are all closed and we’ve been required to stay inside the building we are in until further instructions.

I keep going from fearing for my life and wondering how I’ll manage to go home tonight (I’m a train commuter), nothing in between.

I’m also kind of amazed at how cool headed I’m staying. Family members out of town seem to be more scared than I who am in the middle of it. It’s all very strange, maybe it hasn’t really hit me yet.

Lordcrowstaff
Lordcrowstaff
4 years ago

Damn, I have no words. This makes me so angry! Brussels is relatively close to where I live, and it really makes me think about a lot of things.

EDIT: I fear these kind of attacks will become commonplace here soon, too. Maybe not as bad as in the Middle East, but just a fact of live, a thing that happens.

Social Justice Atheist
Social Justice Atheist
4 years ago

Wow. I just woke up and heard about this. I don’t know what to say. I am horrified that this is the direction humanity seems to be headed in. I wish there could just be more peace and love in this world instead of so much hatred and violence. Why does this kind of stuff keep happening?

Everyone who was affected by this horrible tragedy will be in my thoughts today. This just makes me so sad.

Saphira
Saphira
4 years ago

I’ve seen reports of 17-23 dead. This makes me sick to my stomach.

I’m with you SJA. I wish there was more peace and love. I could compromise on the love part, even, if people could just learn to live and let live.

OoglyBoggles
OoglyBoggles
4 years ago

Unfortunately from these trends I fear that extremism from all sides are going to be more and more commonplace and justified in the eyes of many.

And every day this just gives more hateful people on the internet reasons to bully and discriminate people on the other side.

occasional reader
occasional reader
4 years ago

Hello.

Current provisional report is about 13 casualities and about 35 injured persons.

I wonder if it is linked with the recent arrest of Abdeslam.

I wish our Belgian neighbours my bests !

And i hope this will not escalate, there are already enough problems, so no need to add somes more.

And some suckers already flood the line with false informations. Fuck them.

Ddog
Ddog
4 years ago

@torn feather, I’m glad you are OK. Stay safe. My thoughts are with you and the people there. I’m glad you are feeling not too scared. I’ll be wishing you well all day

Wim Lauryssen
Wim Lauryssen
4 years ago

I work in a mall near Antwerp Station. Still at work but if my shift didn’t end in an hour, I’d still want to go home. I have a flight out of Brussels Airport in about two weeks that I’m not cancelling.

I am, however, booking a night in a fancy hotel. I probably shouldn’t, but I won’t let these assholes ruin my vacation high. I’d rather look forward to that trip than think about what would happen if I was there.

I’m also curious if this could’ve been worse. I wonder if the recent arrest means that a worse attack was planned but if this was rushed because they were getting close to stopping it.

Tyra Lith
Tyra Lith
4 years ago

This is horrible, my thoughts are with the victims and their families…

Unfortunately from these trends I fear that extremism from all sides are going to be more and more commonplace and justified in the eyes of many.

Yes, I think so too. It’s a spiral of hate and fear and I worry that this trend will damage the peaceful european unity irreparably.

Tyra Lith
Tyra Lith
4 years ago

For fuck’s sake, the nationalist politicians here in my country are already using this to stir up hatred against asylum seekers and muslims…

tricyclist
tricyclist
4 years ago

Also BBC live feed normally pretty good:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-europe-35869266

Second the calls for peace love and tolerance.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. (MLK Jr)

And @OoglyBoggles – I hope you don’t mind a small correction – they’re not bullying and discriminating against the other side, they’re bullying and discriminating against people of the same side who happen to share skin colour, and/or (nominal) faith of people on the other side.

Jamesworkshop
Jamesworkshop
4 years ago

Meanwhile US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump reacted by saying he would “close up borders.”

“I’m not locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with me!”

reimalebario
reimalebario
4 years ago

And Mike Cernovich is busy post-hoc martyring the victims to his cause. Stay classy, cockhole.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

I’m gonna be on a plane all day today. Not the news I wanted this morning. 🙁

I’m also not looking forward to seeing the broader consequences of this. Ugh.

Iseult The Idle
Iseult The Idle
4 years ago

Just woke up, so I may not be entirely coherent, but: stay safe, stay calm, and please, please do not let this push you toward radicalism and retaliation.

This attack was, allegedly, in retaliation for some raids and arrests. On that front, it is a meaningful sign that progress has/had been made in cleaning up the cell responsible for the Paris attacks.

If the end result of this is more fear and suspicion – if it does result in borders closing, immigration blocked and ever more security theater – then ultimately we’re all going to be stuck in fox holes, peering at each other over no-man’s-land. Before we get to that point, we need to answer one question: do we want to hide, or do we want to live?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ IP

I’m gonna be on a plane all day today. Not the news I wanted this morning.

It can be hard to be rational about these things, but if it’s any comfort, being in an aeroplane is about the safest activity any of us undertake.

tricyclist
tricyclist
4 years ago

And probably safer today, than most days. Though you’ll probably find getting through security….. tiresome.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
4 years ago

Hugs, Torn Feather.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Dispensing kittyhugs to everyone who needs one.

Our local racists are already busy being very awful, which is really predictable, they did the same shit in November. It is just extra-awful when those racist assholes are sitting in ministeries and Parliament.

People are now tweeting ‘#ikwillhelpen’ in Belgium, offering rides and safe space where to stay for those who are stranded; also tweeting ‘#PorteOuvert’ and ‘#OpenHouse’.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

I agree racists have been extra awful this time around.

While not strictly speaking a racist, an important figure of the PS, in power in France, have already tried to use thoses bombings to force the opposition to vote for laws pushed by the governement. I call that a carrion eater.

Scaly Llama
Scaly Llama
4 years ago

@Skiriki

Dispensing kittyhugs to everyone who needs one.

Thank you. I needed that. After a long day training a new guy at work and, in the evening, launching my new business, all with a migraine that I’ve only just dared to take something for (couldn’t earlier due to drowsiness).

And now this.

It breaks my heart. Belgium is a lovely place, very friendly, with good people and progressive immigration policies. I fear for what it may now become. I didn’t make it to Brussels (only passed through on the train from Paris to Antwerp) but I’m sure it is just as lovely. No one and no country deserves this. I fervently hope this does not teach them to hate, that would be the greatest tragedy.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

Hugs to everyone.

Jimbtho
Jimbtho
4 years ago

It’s just grim. I had to switch off the TV because they kept showing footage of people getting off a train, with a child squealing like a wounded animal (although thankfully the fact he/she could do that must mean the injuries hopefully weren’t life threatening). My wife and I are going to Paris next week (Jesus, I sound selfish, don’t I)….who knows what the security levels are going to be like across Europe. As for this being a ‘revenge attack’ – who knows, maybe it was planned anyway? What does disturb me is the possibility of these kind of attacks becoming a regular occurrence, with who knows what implications for European politics and society.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Belgium is a lovely place, indeed.

Now that I think of it, it is exactly 15 years since I visited the country; Otter and I flew there to spend time with a friend for a week, right before Easter, in 2001.

At that time, bovine footh-and-mouth disease was raging, and exporting cheeses was forbidden, which made us sad, because we had so many excellent cheeses there.

The biggest security hassle we had was “let’s sterilize your shoes”.

We visited Brussels, Antwerpen, Ypres, Ghent; we did a dip to the French side at Lille, and popped over to see Netherlands as well. We visited the famous WWI museum in Ypres, and soaked in the horror that was war and devastation it left behind. Even today, those scars persist on Belgian landscape (if you know anything about trees, for example).

My friend and his family pretty openly discussed about Belgium’s rather sordid past with colonialism, so it wasn’t a one-sided cheese-and-beer-and-omg-chocolate! visit.

I probably should scan my photos and share them with the world… because maybe the world could have a reminder that giving in to grimness, anger and hate should not happen.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ jimbtho

As for this being a ‘revenge attack’ – who knows, maybe it was planned anyway?

The current theory floating around intelligence circles is it’s a bit of both. In that it was an existing plan(s) that was brought forward in light of last weeks raids. Both as a response and also because the intelligence likely to be garnered from the raids could have been used to arrest the relevant people before they had a chance to act.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Skiriki
When you have time to scan your photos of Belgium, I’d love to see them.

Kitty hugs right back at ya. And anyone else who’d like to form a line.

Jimbtho
Jimbtho
4 years ago

Alan – yeah, that makes sense.

mockingbird
mockingbird
4 years ago

My heart goes out to you all, especially those in Belgium.

I have some friends over there and some (very) extended family. Their updates have been harrowing.

@Jimbtho – Don’t beat yourself up about your thoughts going to a selfish place. Well, I mean, do if you want, but throw me in the same corner.
We’re prepping for a move to the southern part of Belgium and I’m ashamed to say that my second thoughts were about how this might impact things.

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

Hugs to everyone who needs them.

Solidarity with the emergency workers and medics who are at the scene and in the hospitals working to help those hurt.

@ Torn Feather – glad you are safe. All the best to you and yours.

The racists here are yelling to close the borders (we are not in Schengen and we’re surrounded by sea). But almost all the terrorism perpetrators in the last few years have been home grown, British nationals and British born. So once you’ve closed the borders, what next? Tagging? Deportations? What could go wrong with that?

[There’s a *slight* possibility that applying entry restrictions *could* conceivably have hindered some of the IRA attacks on the mainland in the 70s. But I believe we’ve had freedom of movement with the Republic of Ireland since the 30s and it’s nothing to do with the EU. And as the causus belli was the status of Northern Ireland, it would have been rather weird to impose border controls between two bits of what was supposedly the same country… Anyway it didn’t happen so we can’t put it to the test.]

Miss Andry
4 years ago

Monstrous.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ bluecat

But I believe we’ve had freedom of movement with the Republic of Ireland since the 30s and it’s nothing to do with the EU.

That’s the ‘Common Travel Area’. We’ve had something like it in one form or other since Irish independence (suspended in WW2).

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

@ Alan – I thought as much! 🙂

And as I typed I thought “I bet Alan knows if this is true…”

Ddog
Ddog
4 years ago

I find it so sad that I hear so many people here in Ireland calling for a ban on migrants, a ban on people who are (or just “look”) Muslim. We got through 800 years of oppression, where viewed as the biggest migrant group and had to put up with the whole that group might be terrorist things during the troubles and yet not one shred of sense or humanity to be found. Irish history is so sad but it seems we lost all compassion with our movement out of dark days. I’m actually despairing in people between these attacks and the rascist shits who are already using these deaths as martyrs to their own fucked up causes.

Sorry I just am very upset by this and disgusted by the reaction here

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ bluecat

Ha, funnily enough I only found out about that after being stared at like an idiot whilst waving my passport at a checkpoint on the border.

My (Irish) mother was so embarrassed when I told her.

ETA: my post is pretty much a summary of the lecture I got. With less eye rolling.

Terrabeau
Terrabeau
4 years ago

God, this is an awful situation. I hope that the Belgian people can bear this tragedy with the good-naturedness and grace I’ve come to expect from them.

In personal news, I’ve thankfully just heard back from my last Belgian friend confirming that they’re okay. A lot of my acquaintances have been returning from the GDC in San Francisco for the past couple of days, several of them through Brussels. Luckily, most of them had already arrived over the weekend, but a few had experienced delays, and I was really stressing out about whether they’d made it.

Sheila Crosby
4 years ago

My niece is safe.

One of the perks of her job is that she can buy very posh chocolate at half price, but today I don’t envy her at all.

Pony's Labia
Pony's Labia
4 years ago

I feel terribly for the people hurt today. I’m so tired of religion and extremism in any form.

otrame
otrame
4 years ago

For all of you in Brussels and all those who have family and friends there, I am sorry this has happened and I wish you the best.

Wim Lauryssen
Wim Lauryssen
4 years ago

@Terrabeau: I really doubt it. We’re leaning more and more towards the right every election and if the reactions I’ve heard so far are any sign, the next one is going to be big. I’m pretty sure that even our extreme right is going to come back in to play.

I’m deliberately not looking at local political twitter but I’m pretty sure that it’s not pretty.

otrame
otrame
4 years ago

Oh, and Ted Cruz can go fuck himself.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
4 years ago

All the right-wing extremists – the ones in Daesh and the ones in all the European groups like Pegida and the EDL and their friends across Europe – all glad of the chance to drive a wedge even further between European citizens, and worsen the situation of the refugees.
My admiration to the people of Brussels writing peace on the pavements.
(Alan, thank you for raising a smile today)

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
4 years ago

Best wishes to everyone in Brussels. I hope things will settle down soon and the airport will be repaired.
Wim and Jimbtho, I don’t think you have to worry about seeming selfish. The way I see it, the best way to handle an attack like this is exactly the way you’re handling it: mourning the dead and sending goodwill to everyone affected while continuing to live your life and go forward with the plans you’ve already made. It shows the terrorists that it’s not working, that the attacks won’t destroy the spirit of the affected region.

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
4 years ago

Deepest condolences and best wishes to all in Belgum right now.

Nequam: Christ, this is why the choice between Trump and Cruz is the choice between nitroglycerine and arsenic.

Might as well march the National Guard into American suburbia to stop the radicalization of Republicans. I’m sure that’ll keep them from producing more Cliven Bundy types. /s

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
4 years ago

I work a block away from the Mall of America and really close to the airport. If there’s ever a terror attack in the Twin Cities, it’ll probably be near me. I don’t typically worry about it but it is in the back of my mind and I think about it when something like this happens.

So, count me in as one of the people thinking selfishly and feeling guilty about it.

Social Justice Atheist
Social Justice Atheist
4 years ago

Aaaaand cue racist conservatives going “close the borders, don’t let this happen in America and vote Trump” blah blah blah. Typical.

Everyone in Brussels: deepest condolences from me and please be safe. My heart goes out to everyone. Hugs for everyone who needs one.

Everyone else: don’t let the racists get to you. You know they will try to use this for xenophobic purposes. They already are as we speak.