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    A demonstrator holds a placard reading rapefugees not welcome during a demonstration against Islamic terror organised by far-right movement Pegida Vlaanderen, on April 23, 2016, in Antwerp

    Pegida Members, Belgian Police Clash at Antwerp Rally

    © AFP 2017/ LUC CLAESSEN / Belga
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    According to media reports, scuffles have broken out between the members of the Pegida anti-Islamization movement and the local police in Belgium’s northern city of Antwerp during the group's rally.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Scuffles have broken out between the members of the Pegida anti-Islamization movement and the local police in Belgium’s northern city of Antwerp during the group's rally there, local media reported.

    "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.

    Related:

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    Some 20 Arrested During Pegida Anti-Islamization Rally in Amsterdam
    Pegida ‘Costly’ Anti-Islamization Rallies Have No Place in Birmingham
    Tags:
    clashes, police, anti-Islamization, Pegida, Antwerp, Belgium
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