Two angry protests sum up Europe's politics

The mass demonstrations that rocked two European capitals on Sunday told a continental story - an illustrative arc that begins with populist ire and anti-migrant sentiment and ends with disillusionment with an increasingly authoritarian status quo.

In Brussels, 5,000 right-wing demonstrators opposed the government's decision to sign a United Nations-brokered migration pact. There were scenes of violence: Police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse protesters who were throwing rocks and paving stones, including a group that attempted to storm the offices of the European Commission. Nearly 100 people were arrested.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2018, with the headline 'Two angry protests sum up Europe's politics'. Print Edition | Subscribe