A pro-French language demonstration erupted into violence in the Brussels borough of Schaerbeek in Belgium on tuesday (25 May), when rival French and Flemish speaking factions began arguing.
MV Demonstration march in progress
MV Demonstrators with banners and flags ZOOM IN TO Banner 'Nuts'
MV Band PAN TO More demonstrators
GV ZOOM OUT Demonstrators gather in square
CU Woman listening to speaker
Demonstrators fighting in street while people listen to speech (2 shots)
MV Police move in and arrest demonstrators
GV Demonstration in progress
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Background: A pro-French language demonstration erupted into violence in the Brussels borough of Schaerbeek in Belgium on tuesday (25 May), when rival French and Flemish speaking factions began arguing.
The trouble started towards the end of the demonstration, which was attended by about 1,500 members of the French Democratic Front (FDF). Police had to move in to break up fights and several people were arrested.
Tuesday's clashes added to along list of confrontations between the two groups, both of which want their mother tongue to become the predominant language of what is now officially a bi-lingual district.
Up to now all offices in the administrative centre of the borough have been bi-lingual, but because the Mayor, Mr. Nols, said the Flemish speaking sections were not being used enough, he ordered all closed but one.
The FDF members came out in support of the closure and the Flemish group turned up to protest.
Although in itself the problem is relatively minor, Schaerbeek has become a symbol of what the Flemings claim is an increasing encroachment of their rights in Brussels and the beginning of an apartheid system in the capital.