The reinforcements are a precautionary measure designed to prevent things getting out of hand as was the case at the end of the national demonstration in Brussels on 6 November.
Then a few hundred of the more than 120,000 demonstrator fought with police and vandalised cars and other property. More than 100 police officers were injured as a result of the violence.
Michel Goyvaerts of the police union NSVP told the VRT that the situation is quite unique. “The authorities have promised us that sufficient measures have been taken to protect our members. In addition to the City of Antwerp Police Service, other police services have been asked to provide assistance, not only local, but also the federal police service and this is quite unique”.
Dogs to be used if needs be
The Mayor of Antwerp Bart De Wever (Flemish nationalist) is remaining tight-lipped about the extra officers for Monday’s strike. Meanwhile, the Interior Minister Jan Jambon has confirmed that dogs will be deployed if needs be.
There were also rumours that hooligans from the Dutch football team Feyenoord were going to go to Antwerp to fight hooligans from Royal Football Antwerp. However, the rumours appear to be unfounded.
Flandersnews.be / Expatica