"With this march we want …to close borders [for refugees] and we demand the end of the subsidies for Islam," one of the protesters told the Nieuwsblad newspaper.
Many activists were carrying the Flemish Community and Flemish Region’s flag during an initially peaceful rally that kicked off at the Hendrik Conscience Square on Saturday evening.
After several inspirational speeches, one of the demonstrators smashed the shop’s window, others began clashing with police officers, while one person attempted to attack the rally’s participants with an ax, according to the daily.
Pegida, an acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, began organizing rallies in its home city of Dresden in October 2014, attracting hundreds and later thousands of supporters.
The far-right German movement gained support in many member states of the European Union amid rising anti-migrant sentiment as Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis since World War II.