DRESDEN, Germany (Reuters) – In the shadows of a Dresden church, hundreds of Alternative for Germany party members rallied with anti-Islam activists, counting down the days to a vote set to make the AfD the first far-right group in parliament in more than half a century.
Supporters of both movements stood side by side waving Germany’s black, red and gold flag – a public demonstration of the fellow feeling between AfD and hardline PEGIDA, though they are officially separate groups.
Outside the city’s towering Frauenkirche – destroyed by Allied bombing in World War Two, then rebuilt after reunification – supporters stood by a huge blue banner that urged people to vote for the AfD on Sept. 24.
Dozens of supporters of far-right PEGIDA movement waving German flags poured into the streets of the German city of Nuremberg on Sunday to protest immigration policy and the Turkish president’s recent Nazi taunts, as they celebrated the local branch’s anniversary.
Thousands of members of Germany’s anti-migrant PEGIDA organization have gathered in Dresden to mark the group’s second anniversary. Police have separated PEGIDA and counter protesters in an effort to prevent clashes.
Germany’s self-styled “anti-Islamization” movement PEGIDA is descending into chaos as internal divisions have resulted in conflicting demonstrations. Meanwhile, its founder Lutz Bachmann is moving to a Spanish island.
Germany’s anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant Pegida movement has announced that it is seeking to found a political party but stressed it would not seek to draw votes from populist far-right group AfD.
The new grouping would be called the Popular Party for Freedom and Direct Democracy, or the FDDV by its German acronym, movement head Lutz Bachmann said at a meeting in Dresden, Pegida’s eastern stronghold.
Activists from the anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement in Belgium’s northern city of Antwerp have clashed with police, local media reported, adding that at least one protester was arrested for performing a Nazi salute.
At least 400 of the PEGIDA supporters staged a demonstration against opening borders for asylum seekers in Hendrik Conscience Square in the city center on Saturday evening, Flemish media reported.
“With this march we want …to close borders [for refugees] and we demand to stop Islam,” one of the protesters told Nieuwsblad newspaper. “It is clear what Islam is capable of…. Our lives are in danger.”
HL Mencken, the German-American journalist and scholar, once said that sticking up for free speech meant sticking up for ‘scoundrels’. Going on the selective outrage at two recent censorship scandals in Germany, it’s clear we can barely stick up for the scamps.
While Western liberals fumed this week after the German authorities allowed comedian Jan Böhmermann to go on trial for writing a satirical, bestiality-referencing poem about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, another less-hashtaggable case has entered the German courts unnoticed.
This was PEGIDA founder Lutz Bachmann’s succinct answer, as he reclined back into the booth in a darkened corner of the Standard Bearer pub in Coventry. I could have thought of no better named boozer in which to sit down with a man like Bachmann, who has himself become the standard bearer for the anti-mass-migration, anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement across Europe.
He is a big chap – standing at over 6 ft 2 inches tall, with the weight of a man who may have enjoyed a few pints, as well as a fair few workouts in his day.
BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom – Hundreds of ‘anti-Islamisation’ protesters descended Birmingham today for the second march of the PEGIDA UK movement, fashioned on the German marches that have attracted up to 18,000 people to the streets of Dresden.
In the eastern German state of Saxony, politicians seem to be having an especially hard time trying to get long-time locals on board with refugee policies that see hundreds of people arriving from Syria or Iraq every week.
While, at the national level, Angela Merkel may be determined that Germany “can do this,” Saxony has seen the rise of the anti-Muslim Pegida (“Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West”) group and witnessed ugly incidents like the one in the village of Clausnitz, where in February an angry mob threatened newly-arriving refugees.
‘Forget decency, fight the sex jihad!’ The moment the most powerful woman in far-Right Pegida launches vicious attack defends Germany against Muslim migrants, telling the public to ‘grab your pitchforks and protect Europe’