Skip to Content

Pegida rally in Dresden, Germany. YouTube
Dresden

Pegida celebrates its fourth anniversary in Dresden

Pegida, the  anti-immigration group, held its first "evening stroll" four years ago. Hundreds of state-sanctioned protesters turned out on Sunday in the eastern German city of Dresden to prevent Pegida from celebrating it.

Published: October 22, 2018, 10:47 am

    Read more

    Since the launch of Pegida – short for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West – it has encouraged more people to express their displeasure at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s generous migrant policies, rising crime, and uncontrolled immigration.

    After four years it has become a political movement, but a so-called “broad alliance” of  left-wing Dresden organisations wants to shut it down.

    Founder Lutz Bachmann, Sigfried Daebritz and Michael Stürzenberger addressed the crowd, but many well-known and also international speakers were also invited – among them Tommy Robinson, Philip Dewinter from the Belgian Vlaams Belang, and also participants from the Czech Republic and Hungary.

    Pegida supporters gathered in front of Dresden’s historic Frauenkirche, where one of their banners warned Merkel that “your days … are numbered”.

    The state of Saxony’s premier, Michael Kretschmer, addressed the counter-protesters, telling them that their presence was an “important signal” against Pegida’s message of “xenophobia”.

    Kretschmer, a member of Merkel’s ruling coalition, added: “It’s important that we get involved and face those who only have simple answers.”

    Police said the demonstrations were largely peaceful, although there were five cases of bodily assault, including one case where where a Pegida supporter was beaten by three unknown assailants.

    The movement was launched in October 2014 by Dresden businessman Bachmann and saw support for its weekly rallies, urging tough immigration policies, quickly rising.

    It has since expanded to other cities with tens of thousands of people joining anti-immigration marches. In 2016, the group counted some 200 000 Facebook followers.

    The Alternative for Germany (AfD) – launched around the same time – has largely benefitted from the rising tide of anti-Islam sentiment expressed by Pegida. It is now the largest opposition party in Germany’s lower house of parliament, despite massive opposition funded by the mainstream parties.

    Many blue AfD banners were in fact also spotted at the Pegida celebration.

    Particularly in eastern Germany, the AfD could topple Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in next year’s state election in Saxony.

    Also troubling for Merkel is that 56 per cent of Germans now believe she should no longer continue as chancellor according to a Forschungsgruppe Wahlen survey for broadcaster ZDF.

    She is facing another round of key regional elections — this time in Hesse, home to Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt, on 28 October. The CDU is desperate to retain control of the state, one of her party’s traditional strongholds, but they are facing a strong challenge from the AfD as well as the Greens.

    There are growing predictions that if the CDU loses power in Hesse Merkel will face a challenge for the party leadership.

    The German Chancellor’s party, the CDU, is to receive only 26 percent of the votes. This would represent a 12 percent drop for Merkel’s party compared to the Chancellor’s results in the region’s last election in 2013, when the party won 38.3 percent of the seats.

    The Social Democrats (SPD), part of Merkel’s governing coalition, is predicted to fall to 20 percent, far below its result of 30.7 percent in 2013, the survey showed.

    This week, the AfD could gain as much as 12 percent of the votes, a result that would make the party be represented in all state parliaments of Germany for the first time ever.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    The geopolitical future of Nordic countries

    Between unity and disunity, independence and foreign interference: Nordic countries have to either choose between creating an independent neutral block in the North, or seeing the region being divided between the great powers.

    Another arson attack on AfD in Berlin

    BerlinUnknown perpetrators have set fire to the car of an AFD member in Berlin. The police confirmed that the vehicle belonging to a party member in the district of Köpenick went up in flames shortly after 2 o'clock in the night of Friday.

    African who torched Italian schoolbus shows no remorse

    MilanThe African from Senegal who hijacked a schoolbus in Italy, terrorizing 51 small children on board, is not going to apologize for what he did.

    A farewell to arms – Ukraine’s corruption spirals out of control

    KievA chilling tale of how Petro Poroshenko's proxies fattened already exorbitantly priced low-quality smuggled spares. 

    Are the Ukrainian presidential elections ‘fake’?

    The Finish journalist Janus Putkonen has started an international petition to stop the Ukrainian elections. Although he is unlikely to succeed, Putkonen has nevertheless gained many supporters. In fact, they are so numerous that the platform Chance.org "purged" some 3 000 signatures over night.

    Are the Ukrainian presidential elections “fake”?

    Finnish journalist Janus Putkonen. Photo: SuppliedThe Finnish journalist Janus Putkonen started an international petition to stop the Ukrainian elections. It is unlikely to succeed, but Putkonen is gathering many supporters. So many, that the platform Chance.org “purged” over night 3,000 signatures.

    Serious fun – Russian pranksters shed light on events in Venezuela

    MoscowTwo Russian pranksters have exposed the greed driving the regime change project against Venezuela by the US State Department in daring phone conversations.

    African sets bus with schoolchildren on fire in Italy

    CremonaA 47-year-old African bus driver was held by Carabinieri police on Wednesday after he hijacked a bus with Italian schoolchildren and set the bus on fire. The Senegalese migrant tied the hands of the children with plastic electrical ties in an attempt to kill them, sources said.

    UK Catholic journalist may face prison for misgendering teenager

    LondonBritish police are currently dedicated to fighting "microaggressions" such as "misgendering" people on social media. Meanwhile, out of the 44 police forces, 42 have recorded a rise in knife crime since 2011.

    Turkish suspect detained in Utrecht terror attack which killed 3

    UtrechtA Turkish suspect wanted for killing three people in Utrecht, in the Netherlands on Monday morning has been arrested. The Dutch national coordinator for counterterrorism called it a "terrorist attack".

    Go to archive