Monday, September 24, 2012

A Birthday Party Turns into a Riot

Did you read about Dutch riot police breaking up a teenager’s 16th birthday party? What was meant to be a celebration for just family and friends turned into mayhem after an innocent invitation went viral on Facebook, reaching some 30,000 people. All because she didn’t set the event to “private”.

In fact, a Twitter account was set up to promote the event, and the Dutch Daily News identified a video posted on YouTube that also promoted the party. Dutch DJs Yellow Claw and Afrojack – who each have thousands of Twitter followers – posted messages about the party on their accounts.

Photo: AFP/Getty images. The teen leaving her Haren house with her mother on Friday

The girl (named only as Merthe) who had issued the invitation fled her home in Haren, a town of just under 18,000 near the city of Groningen and the party was cancelled. Police issued an appeal to would-be revellers not to turn up but at least 3,000 turned up anyway.

Some party-goers even wore T-shirts made for the occasion. One read: 'Project Haren September 21.' Others posed for photos outside the girl's house for the event that became known as the Project X-Party after movie Project X (2012) about three teenagers who throw a birthday party which spirals out of control as the night progresses.

Up to 600 riot police were on the scene and at least 20 arrests were made, media reports said on Friday night. There were reports of six people hurt, three seriously, as shops were vandalised and looted, a car set on fire and street signs and lampposts were damaged, according to Reuters news agency

Even as police broke up the crowds, stones, bottles, bicycles and pots of flowers were hurled at them.

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