By Ronan Glon
Friday, Nov 9th, 2012 @ 2:40 am
 

About 200 Ford employees made the 75-mile trip from Genk, Belgium, to Cologne, Germany, last Wednesday to protest the American automaker's plan to shutter two European factories.

Peaceful at first, the demonstration quickly turned sour when masked protestors stormed the Cologne factory, breaking windows, setting tires on fire and detonating home-made explosives.

Police forces were quickly called to the scene where they were greeted with explosives and projectiles. Officers managed to get the protest under control but three of them were wounded in the process.

German newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt reported that ten protesters were arrested, including an unnamed 39-year old man who is believed to be the leader of the group. He has been charged with causing property damage and bodily harm, as well as violating Germany's strict Explosives Act.

Ford issued a statement saying that it understood the demonstrators' concerns but not their means of showing them.

"It goes without saying that we are aware of the consequences that closing the [Genk] factory will have on the workers and their families," explained the Dearborn-based company, "but we are also very disappointed that workers have violently forced their way into the Cologne facility."

The chief of Germany's police union echoed similar sentiments and said that the rampage was uncalled for.

The automaker did not disclose whether or not it is planning on pressing charges against the protestors.