Nothing Wrong with Tire Terror, says Belgian Justice Minister

Seven months ago, I reported about a Brussels gang, the Flagadas. They were deflating the tires of SUVs to protest against pollution. Sometimes more than 100 SUVs were deflated in one single night. These 'eco-guerillas' claimed they did nothing wrong, as the "theft of air" is not illegal. The Brussels police seemed to agree, as they refused to register complaints from the SUV owners because "the cars had not been damaged". I argued that the Flagadas' actions were restricting the freedom of people and causing them harm.

Yesterday Laurette Onkelinx, the Belgian minister of justice, confirmed that deflating tires is not a crime.

If no harm is done to the car, the Flagadas can not be punished. The deflating of tires can not be considered to be a crime. It does not cause any harm to moveable possessions, nor does it make a vehicle unusable. Hence, the Flagadas can not be brought to justice before a court of law.

There are, however, some ways to counter these Flagadas, according to the socialist minister. Towns could create local bylaws to counter vandalism with administrative penalties. She added:

But of course, this makes only sense if the police knows who these people are, and this is only possible when they are caught while committing the act. And it is evident that this will almost never be the case, as these people do everything to prevent being caught.

Car owners who feel that they are harmed by the Flagadas, can always press civil charges. "But that is only possible when the perpetrators are known", she warned. Make no mistake: the minister also said that she disapproves of these acts. "There are other and better ways to protest", she concluded.

What to think of all this?  Implicitly the minister is sending a signal to all local police forces in Belgium. If your town is terrorized by the Flagadas, do not set up special patrols - "these people do everything to prevent being caught", so don't bother, folks. She's also sending a message to the population: we can not protect you against tire terror, you're on your own, folks! Press civil charges if you want, but as far as the state is concerned, we can't and won't do anything. That's the message people are hearing. This is Belgium, 2006.

SUV's Owners Deflated by Ruling

Leave it to the 'eco-terrorists' to find a creative way to garner attention and avoid police intervention. The "theft of air" is the result of an act which is designed to harass the owners. Since they 'hate' SUV's and their owners I would imagine that such laws might apply as suggested by one owner. But we know those terms are agenda driven... not meant to secure justice.

Have some Faith

The "Lil' Flagadas" get to grow up, whether they like it or not.

And bust their asses to provide or make ends meet.

They to get to look forward to...
Broken car windows
Slashed tires
Torched autos
Stolen car stereos
Stolen rims(wheels) & autos
Getting mugged
The rudeness of unmannered children and their unmannered grownups.

and maybe Incontinence!
"What Goes Around Comes Around"
Just because you have to wade through the muck of life, doesn't mean you have to lie down and swim in it. Unless you want to...

Belgium Crimes

In belgium, many crimes and murders was going in a day. But it is not investigated strictly. Because don't to make the people suffer. It is very dangerous also. There is a chance to make more criminals in this country.

My Personal Blog

Europe can learn a thing or

Europe can learn a thing or two from India. With less than 15 mil muslims, it has so much trouble. What if it is like India with 130+ mil where majority has no rights but only the muslim minority that has most rights? Minority with rights to kill at will, rioting for Bush visit, Cartoon matter, and foul remarks of JERRY FALWELL totally **unrelated** to India or Indians?

Each of these riots caused so many deaths and so much destruction of property of a very poor country poorer than Malysia or Sri Lanka! Yes, India has more than 700 mil under the poverty line and yet INTL community is giving 12 bil to Afghan jihadis and 15 bil to fakistan's jihadis!!? What a tragic irony?

How we allow ourselves to be cheated, fooled by these muslims and jihadis over and over again? Isnt it amazing? But true!!

Tire Terror

Belgian authorities should get acquainted with or brush up on the “broken window theory,” famously put in practice by New York's Mayor Rudy Giuliani, which led to a 70% fall in the city's murder rate. Deflating tires, narrowly construed, may not be a criminal offense. But it is a violation of your right to avail yourself of your vehicle. Left unpunished, it will escalate to more serious offenses. If you don’t want to call it a human right or a property right (which it is), just call it a "right.” Your property is involved because it will cost you money to have the car towed, etc. Your life may be involved if you cannot use the car in an emergency. Vandalism of this type offends the minimum decorum that underlies all social life.

“… Giuliani's "zero tolerance" rollout was part of an interlocking set of wider reforms, crucial parts of which had been underway since 1984. [He] had the police even more strictly enforce the law against subway fare evasion, and stopped public drinkers, urinators, and the "squeegee men" who had been wiping windshields of stopped cars and demanding payment. Rates of both petty and serious crime fell suddenly and significantly, and continued to drop for the following ten years.”

New Yorker

Tire Terror

If I were in Belgium, I think I would find the auto of your "Justice" minister, Laurette Onkelinx, and deflate her tires! I'm surprised that nobody has done that-- and then see what happens.

No crime?

Then perhaps someone could let the air out of her tires, every day, until she gets the point. Or (because she's probably too holier-than-thou to own a vehicle), let the air out of the tires of all her friends and the buses normally used on her route and so on.

No harm, right?


Call me prejudiced (I'm sure some will), but I am a firm believer in laws that reflect the will of the people, rather than some elite.

@pvdh - being a normal citizen

What's the connection to immigrants here?  Or owning a gun?  All I said was that if the Justice Minister is systematically saying that petty crimes will not be investigated or prosecuted, then it will result in a rise in petty crime.  Then your life will be miserable.


Right now the people being affected are just gas station owners and SUV owners.  I'm assuming you're not one of the above.  I do wonder though, when Onkelinx will decide that it is important to keep up the rule of law no matter what, even for appearances.


Islam In Europe


the tires

A crime it may not be, but surely a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and permanent record? Does Belgium not have 'public nuisance' laws that cover such things as disturbing the peace and causing obstruction, where failure to desist leads to more serious consequences?

Crimes in Belgium

This is not the first time Onkelinx comes out with such a statement, saying that crimes will not be investigated and the crimminals prosecuted.  See here (Dutch or English)

Even if the owner gets your license plate and calls the cops, prosecution is unlikely to follow.  Laurette Onkelinx, Minister of Justice, said that it is just no use prosecuting in this kind of case.  The maximum jail time is too low, so even if a conviction is obtained the perpetrator walks away because there is not enough room in Belgian jails. 

In other words, this is a pattern - if a crime is too hard to investigate, then let the people suffer.  This is quite dangerous, as it can lead to more and more "petty crime" that is too hard to track, too difficult to prosecute and means too many crimminals for the jail system thereby leading to a miserable life for normal citizens.

Islam In Europe  

thereby leading to a

thereby leading to a miserable life for normal citizens.

I'm a normal citize. I've lived all my life in Belgium. I don't own a gun. I don't believe in God. There are immigrants living in my town. And yet I have a wonderfull life. Reading this Journal, one wonders how that's possible. It must be a miracle.

A miracle?

"I'm a normal citize. I've lived all my life in Belgium. I don't own a gun. I don't believe in God. There are immigrants living in my town. And yet I have a wonderfull life. Reading this Journal, one wonders how that's possible. It must be a miracle."

@pvdh, be a normal citizen, live al your life n Belgium, etc...
and then just wear a jewish kippah while walking through Rue Haute or even Rue Neuve in Brussels. If you are not aggressed one way or the other, then it must be a miracle!


Leave Brussels, and come living in Herent. We'll ask you to join the local "Wieze Club" of the KVBA. By name it's catholic, but they don't mind Atheists, Jews or Muslims. As long as everybody is a bit tolerant and in for a good laugh now and then...

And leave your gun at home. We don't like guns over here.


I don't have weapens (yet!). Am not sure your place is as save as you think it is:
cosigning with AEL
Herent-Zuid Organiserend Comité
"In juli en augustus zet Oxfam Wereldwinkel Herent Palestina in de kijker." making publicity for some products while boycotting others with our taxpayers money.

If I have to migrate, it will be out of Western Europe!


I agree that on the left there is a lot of resentment against Israel. And often it's not based on well documented facts. But this sure shouldn’t be mistaken for anti-Semitism. The left always identifies with the week and the oppresed. In the Palestinian-Israeli conflict it’s the Palestinians with few guns against an impressive army. They see the pictures on television of poverty and checkpoints. I agree that the VRT is somewhat biased on the way they cover the conflict. The same way they are a bit to much in America bashing. But the day the changes should turn, and the Israeli should be on the defensive, they would turn around in a second. I know those people. The sympathy for the Palestinians comes instinctively. That, however doesn’t mean they hate Jews instinctively. I think even on the contrary.


we are getting off-topic, but I don't fully agree with your statements. If you read French, then read Alexis Dubois, "Le socialisme des imbéciles/ Quand l'antisémitisme redevient de gauche"; La Table Ronde, septembre 2005, ISBN 2-7103-2680-9.

You can also get "inspiration" on:
and others. Some are in several languages.

As far as pictures are concerned, have a look at
and yo'll get an idea about the "production" of pictures.
And no "Palestinians with few guns" is no argument at all when one knowns that Islamokazes don't need a lot for killing civilians, women, kids, etc... only because they are Jewish! I just saw today on TV the tremendous amounts of arms exposed by Fatah and Hamas in Gaza and then they claim money for food...

Last item. "But the day the changes should turn, and the Israeli should be on the defensive, they would turn around in a second". Well, the Jewish people have some 2000 years experience with that in the Christian and Moslilm world. They rather prefer "chance should not turn" than to be defended by these people. Remember the Red Cross "checks" during WW II and even their refuseal until begin this week about releasing information 60 years later.

I will not anymore go off-topic here after this post.

Air Pressure

Belgium needs a gang that will let the air out of politicians heads.

re air pressure

That's impossible, their heads are already vacuous. But on a serious note, a crime has been commited simply due to the fact that the car owners did not agree to these youths deflating their car tires. If I were to break into a home, through an open window, then steal nothing and go out again via the same window, I could still be prosecuted for unlawful trespassing. Same thing with the car tires. Like a home, they are rightful property objects of their respective owners. But again, what would you expect from a government and minister who have made a career out of taking property possessions from citizens.

terror ?

Calling the deflating of tires "tire terror" is a bit far-fetched, don't you think? I can think of far more aggressive ways to protest...

and Bicycle tires?

Try deflating Bicycle tires.


If a flagellant deflates your tires, catch him and shave his or her hair off. No damage! It grows again instantaneously and you saved him/her at least one visit at the barber`s!


See what Onkie the donkey thinks of that.


"The deflating of tires can not be considered to be a crime."

So, if I deflate some cop cars, the cops will just stand by frothing at the mouth doing nothing?

already deflated?

Onkelinx recieves my full understanding about her statement: she, according to her size, is herself already a deflated model of Anne-Marie Lizin.

What do people think

What do people in Flanders think about it? They were asked if it is a crime (
3522 (80%)
896 (20%)
Politicians do have no feeling with reality anymore or they do have a secret agenda.

other`s tires

Even those 20% will only find that deflating the tires of others is no crime. Not theirs of course.

Tire Terror 2006

Belgium must be a fair and just country, You come out one morning and you have a flat tire or tires. Do they send a service vehicle to your address to re-inflate your tire or tires or due they reimburse you for calling private service vehicle to re-inflate your tires or are you just stuck, late for work (lost wages and your inconvenienced) the price of being in this wonderful country of Belgium.
If you deflated Laurette Onkelinx, the Belgian minister of (in-)justice several times a week for a month or so, her tune just might change.

I can't say my heart bleeds

This is a surprise, I thought Europeans had a law for everything. If you don't want these Flagadas, send them over here (Australia) because their work will never end. You'd think that half the population owns a mine or a cattle farm judging by the ubiquity of these pests. The bleating of the owners about high fuel costs indicates that this sort of activism may soon be redundant.

Tire Terror

If it is no crime to deflate tires then let the air out of the tires of people who are known to support the Flagadas cause.

Belgium 2006?

That is not just Belgium 2006. This is a Walloon (French speaking) Minister from the Socialist Party. That is what this is. Are we surprised, boys and girls?