On Saturday, the Belgian police made a succession of detentions of the anti-racist and right-wing protesters in Brussels , and the riot squads engaged in a anxious confrontation with the local youths district of Molenbeek.
The stand-off raised out of plans by far-right group to hold protest in Molenbeek, that is a largely Muslim neighbourhood where a number of militants who had staged the attacks in Paris had been based. An anti-racist group had called for counter-demonstration.
Local authorities, fearful of a repeat of last Sunday’s disturbance, banned both when the police fired water cannon to untangle over 449 raucous protesters, many of whom were the right-wing nationalists, said the local media.
Police stated that a number of extreme-right protesters still did arrive Molenbeek. At least 7 were detained.
“There was a protest expected by the extreme right, so there a large group of youths gathered & then at point we’d 300 – 400 surrounding police station,” said a police representative.
Around 200 riot police raised guard in Molenbeek & there was a tense stand-off with local youths, who were mostly of North African origin, 1 of whom hurled a rubbish bin toward police. Water cannon were all set but weren’t used.
At one point a car advanced the police line, which was then hit by police batons & in speeding away, hit a woman.
2 local youths were arrested for the public order offences.
In centre of the city, police alleged around 10 anti-racist activists who assembled near bourse, where flags, flowers and candles have been laid in the memory of 32 victims of 22nd March suicide bombings Brussels’ airport & metro.
The Belgian television later displayed that around 30 far-right demonstrators in an outer suburb of the Belgian capital, holding banners that said “This is our country”