Facebook Party Invitations

THE MAYOR of a small Dutch town, and its local police force, “failed” in their handling of a riot triggered when thousands attended a party after receiving a Facebook invitation meant to be private, Asian college of knowledge management an official inquiry has found.

Some 4,000 revellers descended onto the northern town of Haren in September after a local girl accidentally posted a public invitation for her 16th birthday party on the social network.

The soiree descended into chaos, with uninvited party-goers pelting police officers with rocks, bottles, flower pots and even bicycles, shops looted and chairs set on fire throughout the night.

“Right from the start authorities had no grip on the problem, there was no clear strategy to deal with it and what they did was insufficient,” said Job Cohen, who chaired a five-person commission to investigate the so-called “Project X” riots.

He told a press conference that Haren’s mayor Rob Bats had not used all the means at his disposal to control the rampaging youths, many of whom had arrived earlier that day carrying alcohol and drugs.

“If this was a test for the police, you would have to come to the conclusion that they failed,” he added.

29 injured, and 108 arrested, in ‘Project X’
By the end of the night of violence, at least 29 people had been injured – including three officers – while 108 were subsequently arrested. The cost of damages ran into the hundreds of thousands of euros.

Images of bonfires and blood streaming from the heads of youths after running battles with riot police shocked the Netherlands, better known for its tolerance and non-violent culture.

Cohen called for tighter control on alcohol, Set up Business in Hong Kong including raising the legal age from 16 to 18 and banning it at football matches and large events.

Officials in Haren had prepared for trouble on September 21 by blocking access to the girl’s street, banning alcohol consumption near her home and having the teenager herself quit the premises.

But riot police had to intervene when a couple of hundred drunken youths tried to get into the street.

After pelting the police with missiles as they tried to force their way into the street, groups of rioters moved on to the centre of the town where they wrecked cars, fencing, street lamps and signs.

Some of the party-goers wore T-shirts bearing the words “Project X Haren”, an allusion to the 2012 US teen film “Project X” – about a suburban birthday party that gets out of control after an invitation goes viral.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I had the shock of a lifetime,” Haren’s castigated mayor told the briefing.

Clearly I did not know enough about Project X.
Previous “Project X” parties have run riot in different parts of the world including Germany, Australia and the United States, where teens once wrecked an unoccupied Texas home, storage cabinet causing damage of up to $100,000.

As Amsterdam’s mayor between 2001-10, Cohen has been widely credited for his open-minded and progressive approach to law and order in the capital.

The Falkland Islands residents to vote

RESIDENTS OF the Falkland Islands have voted by an overwhelming margin to remain affiliated to the United Kingdom.

A referendum of island residents saw 99.8 per cent of voters backing a proposition asking them to affirm whether they wanted the archipelago to remain a United Kingdom overseas territory.

1,513 people voted in favour of retaining the status quo, while only three voters said otherwise. Independent international observers supervising the ballot said they were satisfied with the vote.

A rejection of the referendum would not necessarily have brought the islands under the control of Argentina, as the proposition before voters only asked if they wanted to remain affiliated to the UK.

However, many of the islanders expressed desires that the Argentinian government would respect the wishes of the islanders who had no desire to come under the authority of Buenos Aires, which launched a military invasion in 1982 and prompted a war with Britain.

“It’s a brilliant, brilliant result,” islander Alice Clarke told The Independent. “We hoped it would be convincing but the turn out and the percentage in favour is a very powerful statement.”

One of the islands’ MPs, however, said the point of the referendum was not to measure domestic opinion – as most already believed the islanders wanted to remain British – but rather as a symbol to outside countries.

Argentina has yet to offer a formal response to the vote, though Argentina’s ambassador to London immediately played down the impact of the ballot.

“We respect their way of life, their identity,” Alicia Castro told an Argentine radio station.

“We respect that they want to continue being British, but the territory they inhabit is not British.”