Press Club Brussels Europe #WeLoveBrussels - Page 17

In Rue du Persil there were the headquarters of the Freemasons and the debates between the catholic “Le Patriote” and the Masonic centre were constant. If you continue along Rue du Marais you arrive at Rue des Sables once upon a time the “Fleet Street” of Brussels. Rue des Sables was a thriving street for printing and the press and where there was a convent of St. Elizabeth a big printing works was created. It lay close to many tram routes and lorries transported the printed newspapers. Besides the bigger newspaper titles already mentioned there were , “Le Laboureur”, le “Petit Journal” and le “Petit Bleu”. There was considerable collaboration among them helped by their proximity. One of the newspapers was “La Reforme” which became a staunch defender of the French artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus, accused of treason. The Jewish journalist and anarchist Bernard Lazare campaigned for his exoneration using the phrase “J’accuse” (later picked up by Emile Zola), in an article in L’Eclair, on 15 September 1896 which was republished in Belgium under the title “The Dreyfus Affair – A Miscarriage of Justice”, in November 1896. The Belgian media was active in the defence of Dreyfus with “Le Soir” publishing articles on the affair calling it “the most extraordinary judicial mistake”. In 1897 it was “La Reforme” who wrote openly about the innocence of Dreyfus and published a letter that had never been taken into consideration during the trial. The newspaper “L’Aurore” became the “voice” of the defenders of Dreyfus and it was on its pages on 13 January 1898 that Emile Zola published his famous article “J’accuse”. After his exoneration Dreyfus attended the ceremony to move Émile Zola’s ashes to the Panthéon in 1908, only for a disgruntled journalist (Louis Gregori) to attempt to assassinate him. After the Second World War the newspaper “La Cité” was created by the Christian movement. In 1885 “Le Peuple”, a cooperative newspaper was created as the newspaper of the workers party in Belgium. At first “La Reforme” printed “Le Peuple”, then “Le Peuple” created its own premises in Rue du Persil were the cooperative bakery had also been installed. The newspaper fought a long battle to improve the pay of workers and for universal suffrage. The building is still there, Art Nouveau on the top, Art Deco at the entrance. At its peak the street was full of life, bars and eating -places; not far away were some red light areas. The later building of “Le Peuple” is round the corner, a classic example of Art Deco with the portraits of Louis Bertrand, Joseph Wauters and Cesar de Paepe. n A city-trip in Brussels ? A meeting, a trade fair? Not enough rooms to welcome family ? Our new B&B « Ceci n’est pas une CHAMBRE D’HOTE » is ready for you ! 2 nice bedrooms in a quiet and green area, near European Institutions and city center. Luxury Belgian breakfast included. Want to know more ? Mail us ! ch.hote.brussels@gmail.com Marie-Isabelle Belpaire 17, rue Louis Titeca 1150 Bruxelles +32 (0)486.865.985