Dramatic photos show far-right activists getting pelted with a water cannon during a migration protest in Brussels

brussels.JPGReuters

  • Protesters have clashed with police in Brussels while demonstrating against a UN migration pact.
  • The United Nations signed the first ever international deal on the migration crisis, despite opposition from the US.
  • The "March against Marrakech" pledged to turn a "political crisis into the awakening of our people."

Police in the Belgium capital were forced to use water cannons and tear gas on activists protesting against a UN migration pact signed on Monday.

Reuters said the protesters were far-right sympathizers who had descended on the European Commission headquarters in Brussels as part of the "March against Marrakech" demonstration.

The United Nations signed the first ever international deal on the migration crisis in the Moroccan city earlier this week. It promised a global approach to better managing migration, despite vociferous opposition from the US, which said last year that it interferes with American sovereignty.

March against Marrakech's Facebook page said 12,000 planned to attend the demonstration. "We can't just stand by and watch, we need to show the will of the majority," it said. "Let's turn this political crisis into the awakening of our people."

But the protests appeared to spill over into violence as demonstrators clashed with police. Scroll on for some of the most dramatic photos from the protest in Brussels:

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Thousands of protesters gathered in Brussels, including Filip Dewinter (center), a leading figure in Vlaams Belang, a right-wing Flemish nationalist party.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Brussels, including Filip Dewinter (center), a leading figure in Vlaams Belang, a right-wing Flemish nationalist party.

But the protests soon began to turn ugly. Here demonstrators are trying to topple an EU flag outside the European Commission headquarters.

But the protests soon began to turn ugly. Here demonstrators are trying to topple an EU flag outside the European Commission headquarters.

Mounted police attempted to control the crowds.

Mounted police attempted to control the crowds.

Tensions escalated as protesters ripped up street signs and metal railings as they clashed with police. Some demonstrators threw items at police.

Tensions escalated as protesters ripped up street signs and metal railings as they clashed with police. Some demonstrators threw items at police.

This man launched a traffic sign at law enforcement.

This man launched a traffic sign at law enforcement.

Police responded with a water cannon as they attempted to take control of the situation.

Police responded with a water cannon as they attempted to take control of the situation.

One activist was hit the face by the jet of water.

One activist was hit the face by the jet of water.

Pepper spray was also deployed by police.

Pepper spray was also deployed by police.

Some people were detained.

Some people were detained.

As the situation calmed, the damage to the streets of Brussels was visible.

As the situation calmed, the damage to the streets of Brussels was visible.
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