Anti-migration protest turns violent in Brussels

Anti-migration protest turns violent in Brussels

December 16, 2018

Flemish nationalists were prominent among the thousands of people who marched in the European capital, in protest at a UN migration pact that was signed earlier this month.

They were met with tear gas and water cannons, as riot police closed off wide streets in the city centre and confronted some protesters who had broken off from initial gathering.

Demonstrators object to the UN compact on migration, a non-binding agreement among the majority of member states to cooperate in ensuring safe and orderly migration and upholding the rights of migrants around the world.

The compact, which was signed in Marrakesh last week, has been criticised by conservative and far-right voices who say it threatens national sovereignty.

In Belgium, Prime Minister Charles Michel was left leading a minority government after the Flemish nationalist party N-VA quit in protest at the signing of the deal.

Flags of a another Flemish group, Vlaams Belang, were on show at Sunday’s march, where protesters called for Mr Michel to resign and accused politicians of ignoring the “will of the people”.

Police, who later said protesters became violent when they were asked to disperse, were filmed hitting people with batons.

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