Around 5,500 people have gathered outside the Commission to voice their discontent regarding the UN Migration Pact signed in Marrakech last week by many world leaders, according to the police. The demonstrators, who were urged to gather by Flemish far-right associations, arrived outside the Commission at 12pm GMT (1pm CET), chanting a series of slogans including “our people first” and “Brussels rats”. Their gathering turned violent quickly, with many demonstrators “smashing every window” of the Commission’s building, according to freelance journalist Sotiri Dimpinoudis.
He wrote on Twitter: “Protestors are smashing every window of the European Commission building they can see in their path!
“To protest against the #UN Migration Pact of #Marrakech in #Belgium!”
The journalist also said police made 15 arrests and used tear gas and “big vehicles” in a bid to placate the riots and push back the demonstrators.
He wrote: “Police are now using the big vehicles in order to drive out the protestors of the European Commission building in the European district “#Schumanplein” in #Brussels!”
The riots are taking place between the districts of Schuman and Cinquantenaire.
The protesters demanded their leaders to trash the UN pact and defend the continent from an “invasion”.
A French-speaking demonstrator said: “I am against the pact of Marrakech, it is a deception.
“We are already invaded, we want to keep our continent prosperous for our children and our grandchildren.
“Unfortunately, here there are only Flemish lions.”
Another protester said: “I want to protect the future of my children and my grandchildren because opening the doors is useless, I want the Governments to start to integrate the people who are here.
“Switzerland, Australia, Israel did not want to sign the pact, there is a reason.”
While sedating the riot, police is also trying to avoid a clash between the far-right demonstrators and people marching against marching, in a counter demonstration organised by left-leaning organisations.
Some 1,000 people are believed to have taken part in this march and have gathered near Gare du Nord to speak out against racism.
The UN Migration Pact, officially known as Global Compact for Migration, was endorsed during the December 10-11 summit by 164 nations.
The pact is a non-binding policy framework which aims to improve how migration is managed by countries.
Among the 23 objectives stated in the pact, there is the collection of adequate data to ensure that all migrants have proof of legal identity, the establishment of coordinated efforts on missing migrants and a stronger transnational response to the smuggling and trafficking of migrants.
The US, Australia and most of the eastern and central European members of the European Union didn’t sign the pact.