Rioters descended on town before sparking asylum center melee

Anti-asylum center protest in Heesch, Brabant, 18 Jan 2016 (Photo: @dannyvanasperen/Twitter)Anti-asylum center protest in Heesch, Brabant, 18 Jan 2016 (Photo: @dannyvanasperen/Twitter)

Most of the people involved in the anti-asylum center riots in the Brabant town of Heesch on Monday night, are not from the town itself. The three rioters that were arrested are young men from Geffen and Oss, Omroep Brabant reports based on information from a police spokesperson.

According to VVD faction leader in Bernheze Jack van der Dussen, a number of the rioters came from Helmond and Ravenstein. Heesch falls under Bernheze. "The demonstration began peacefully with fairly calm demonstrators. But when the rioters arrived at the square, the mood changed instantly. They ruined it for the people who wanted to protest peacefully", the VVD leader said to the broadcaster.

D66 leader in Berheze Annemieke Boellaard agrees that people from outside Heesch were present at the demonstration. "For the police these people were completely unknown. They saw their chance to make a lot of noise."

The municipality of Bernheze plans to open an asylum center in Heesch. The center will house up to 500 asylum seekers for up to ten years. Last week protesters placed two dead piglets and banners on the planned site for the center.