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Daily Dutch News in English

Massive Facebook party Project X Haren in sleepy Dutch town turns into riot

A Dutch teenage girl who forgot to mark her sweet sixteen birthday invitation as private on Facebook had fled her own party after the invite went viral, prompting thousands of RSVPing.

The birthday girl had initially only wanted to ask some close friends over to her home in Haren when she posted her invitation on Facebook, but mistakenly she published it so that everyone on Facebook could see it.

The invitation quickly went viral and a website, Twitter account and even a YouTube trailer has sprung up to promote the event, and claims that as many as 240,000 had been invited.

The party has become known under the name “Project X Haren,” inspired by the movie “Project X” where 3 high school seniors throw a birthday party and things spiral out of control as word of the party spreads.

Over 30,000 people confirmed online they would come to the party in Haren which received a lot of media attention and even CNN reported the event.

The Dutch police were on high alert for an invasion of party-goers and had prepared for trouble 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 were still forced to intervene when a couple of hundred young drunks tried to get into the street.

Windows were shattered, shops looted, a car set ablaze and streets “left in chaos,” the New York Daily News reported.

34 people were arrested Friday night and Saturday morning after rioters torched at least two cars, threw stones and smashed storefront windows, CNN reported.

Groups of rioters also moved to the centre of the town where they wrecked cars, fencing, street lamps and signs.

Local officials said between 3000 and 5000 people turned up in the town of 18,000 residents, and that specific “ring leaders” had contributed to the destruction.

On Saturday, a group called Project Clean-X Haren emerged on Facebook, which posted video of organizers wielding shovels and carrying flowers.