Police fired warning shots in a bid to disperse the crowd in Geldermalsen, where 2,000 people joined the protest. Dozens of youths are seen tearing down fences, throwing beer bottles and fireworks at police, and chanting slogans against the proposed centre to house 1,500 mostly military-age male Muslim freeloaders and potential jihadists in the town of 27,000.
UK Express (h/t Maria J) A spokesman said officers had “so far made numerous arrests, it’s is not clear yet how many”. No serious injuries were reported. A meeting of the town’s council to decide on whether to build the centre to house 1,500 Muslim invaders had to be halted.
In dramatic scenes the meeting was evacuated by shouting policemen as rioters sought to force their way into the building. Police said late on Wednesday that the crowd had still not dispersed and officers were sporadically being pelted with debris.
They said the meeting would not be resumed and called on protesters to leave the town centre. Police sealed off the town hall but protestors pelted the building with bottles, bricks and fireworks. Several windows were smashed.
Riot police arrived in 15 minibuses to deal with the unrest. Two police officers were slightly injured in the clashes and at least 14 arrests have been made, according to a local newspaper. Explosives experts were reportedly deployed to deal with a large firework which had not exploded.
Local mayor Miranda de Vries tweeted that everybody in the meeting hall was safe, adding that she was saddened by the incident. She posted on Twitter: “people say they are frightened of Muslim thugs, rapists, and potential jihadists posing as refugees. I am very very sad about this.”
The incident was the biggest display of anti-migrant sentiment in the Netherlands since young men attacked a Syrian refugee centre in October. Deputy Justice Minister Klaas Dijkhoff, who oversees immigration and asylum policy, called the incident in Geldermalsen “un-Dutch.” He said: “This is not how we deal with each other in the Netherlands. This is unheard of.” (Get used to it)
The arrival of thousands of refugees in the Netherlands as part of the influx of arrivals in Europe has stirred tensions between anti-Muslim opponents and those welcoming migrants.