During the open day of the center for asylum seekers in Boudl, the demonstration proceeded quietly

Omroep Brabant

A group of people confiscated the open day of the center for asylum seekers in Boudl on Saturday to demonstrate against the center for asylum seekers. The demonstrators, who number about fifty years, want the center for asylum seekers to be closed as soon as possible. They are tired of bothering a certain group of asylum seekers. Most of the protesters returned to their homes around 2 pm.

Secretary of State Eric van der Burg would like the center for asylum seekers to remain open after 2024 and can be found regularly in the municipality of Bodl. But part of the population and the majority of city council members want the center closed.

The turnout is a bit disappointing for Richard Verbuckle of Maarheeze this Saturday. “I was hoping for more. The rainy weather probably didn’t help, but I hope the message gets through. We’re more and more tired of the daily hassle of bike theft from stores and aggression.”

“We don’t feel like we’re being heard,” says organizer Verbuckle. “Nothing will change. We have to wait for the residents of Boudl and Marhezy to start playing in front of the judges. This happened recently when a bicycle thief from the center for asylum seekers was caught red-handed. I expect this will happen more often.”

A number of people would like to receive asylum seekers, but not in the way it is currently happening in Boudl. “Real refugees are welcome,” says Harm van Loken of the protest group. “But after ten years of asylum seeker status, that was enough.” Earlier this year, the city council adopted a proposal to close the center for asylum seekers in 2024.

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1,500 people live in the asylum seekers’ center. A group of one hundred to 150 people causes inconvenience. They mainly come from safe countries in North Africa such as Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The village of Marhezeh has been disturbed by these “safe immigrants” for years. Some residents do not feel safe on the street and at the station in Marizza. Earlier this year, the Center for Asylum Seekers appeared in the news negatively due to a number of appeals.

Organizer Richard Fairbuckle knows the numbers and that a small group is ruining them for most other residents of the AZC. “I doubt if this is only 150 gang leaders. There are more than that instinctively. It is also frustrating to see that if they are caught, they often walk free on the same day.”

All centers for asylum seekers in the Netherlands are holding an open day on Saturday to create more understanding among the local population. The people who work at the center for asylum seekers in Bodl want the center to remain open. They think it is unfortunate that the asylum seekers who live there are victims of a small group of harassment. They also believe that the security situation is better under control thanks to additional surveillance and cameras.

Bert Schulz is the environmental director of the AZC in Boudl and understands the protesters at the door. “Everyone is free to demonstrate and allowed to do so. There are people who are very concerned about safety and that’s a point.”

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The center for asylum seekers will soon undergo a major renovation. For example, the entrance and apartment buildings are being renovated. Adhesive tires and holes in the floor are treated. Some politicians and Cranendonk residents fear that this renovation will mean that the national government will bypass city council and that the asylum seeker center will remain open.

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After years of nuisance, Budel doesn’t want to be forced to take in asylum seekers

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