Riot police in Brussels used water cannon, Sunday, to disperse a crowd defying a ban on a gathering of controversial far-right figures including French comic Dieudonne, which critics called an "anti-Semitic hatefest", according to Agence France Presse. Citing a threat to public order, the mayor of the Brussels district of Anderlecht banned both the meeting and any protests connected to it. But organisers of the so-called "European Dissidents' Congress" -- a Brussels bookshop and a group called "Debout les Belges!" (Belgians, Rise up!) -- urged supporters to head to the venue for "a surprise", sparking the standoff with riot police.
"It's over. Everyone should disperse calmly," said Laurent Louis, the 34-year-old far-right lawmaker and founder of "Debout les Belges", after
police forcefully broke up the crowd of about 500 protesters without making arrests. "They're coming down on us, I don't want any injured," Louis told the crowd, though about 40 supporters remained outside the venue later.