- Demonstrators went on the rampage in town of Geldermalsen last night
- They smashed through fence surrounding asylum camp, attacked police
- The angry crowd yelled ‘No n****** here!’ and ‘foreign scum keep away’
- Town hall left looking like a ‘battlefield’ and councillors were forced to flee
- At least 14 people were arrested, several policemen were injured in melee
The demonstrators went on the rampage in the small town of Geldermalsen last night in the worst riot of its kind in the Netherlands since the refugee crisis began.
A planned discussion about the imminent arrival of the migrants, staged by the town council, was abandoned in the chaos as the mob outside tried to storm the building. Councillors were forced to flee out of rear exits into police vans.
Fences around the planned asylum camp were smashed down or cut through in the rioting. Police were pelted with bottles and fireworks before they drew their firearms and fired warning shots into the air.
The crowd shouted ‘no n****** here!’ and ‘foreign scum keep away!’ and left the town hall looking like a ‘battlefield’ with broken windows and chipped brickwork.
Running skirmishes between youths and the police went on until the early hours of Thursday morning.
The mayoress, Miranda de Vries, said she was shocked at the violence caused by an estimated 2,500 people in the town of 27,000 that lies near the city of Utrecht.
It was by far the biggest and the most violent outbreak of anti-immigrant sentiment in the country.
Deputy justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff responsible for managing Holland’s intake of refugees, called the protestors ‘un-Netherlanderish’.
There were 14 arrests and several police officers were slightly hurt in the melees. A Dutch bomb squad had to be called in on Thursday morning to deal with a potentially lethal ‘heavy’ fireworks lodged in the town hall facade.
‘It is very serious what happened tonight,’ said a police spokesman. ‘We going to investigate what exactly occurred.’
Mayor de Vries said: ‘Everyone from the council chamber is safe. And they tell people to be afraid of asylum seekers. Am I sad.
‘The clearance of a council chamber in Geldermalsen due to disturbances is of coursen unheard of. If you want to express your opinion there is plenty of room for it. You don’t express opinions by throwing fireworks.’
The plan for an asylum centre with a capacity for 1500 people for a period of 10 years is highly controversial for locals who fear there may be more trouble to come.