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Demonstration against the UN Migration pact gets out of hand

Despite initially having passed without incident, violence has erupted at the end of the March Against Marrakesh demonstration on the Schuman Square in Brussels on Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere changed after a number of speakers had addressed the several thousand demonstrators that had gathered to express their opposition to the UN Migration Pact. 

Some of the demonstrators threw stones and fencing and the window of a building that houses offices of the European Commission was wrecked. The police responded by using tear gas and water canon against the demonstrators.

At the end of the demonstration the demonstrators had been asked to disperse peaceful. However, this request appears to have fallen on deaf ears among at least some of those present. Some of the trouble-makers shouted “Belgian hooligans”.      

Meanwhile, the Belliardstraat that links the Schuman Square, where the demonstration took place, and the Brussels Inner Ring Road has been closed to traffic. 

The VRT’s Eddie Groenwals saw events unfold "There were incidents at around 2pm at the end of the official demonstration against the Migration Pact. Several people have been injured”.    

"The demonstrators attempted to reach the Wetstraat.”

“They have been driven back towards the Schuman Square and are now in stuck in the surrounding streets”.  

The police have deployed both mounted units and patrol vans.

"The worst incidents appear to have passed and for the time being at least, the police appear to have the situation under control”.