Pegida and fellow anti-Muslim groups called the rallies following last month’s signing of an agreement to create a “Fortress Europe” coalition against a backdrop of Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Police in Calais have dispersed a rowdy anti-migrant protest with tear gas after clashes with protesters and detained several far-right demonstrators. Around 150 militants from the anti-Islam, anti-immigration group PEDIGA gathered Saturday at the northern French city chanting slogans like: “We must not let Calais die!” The protesters Saturday had ignored a ruling by the local prefect to ban such demonstrations. One of them, former soldier Christian Piquemal, said he was “shocked by the behavior of police forces.”
Another rally in the southern city of Montpellier drew barely 200 people by mid-afternoon.
Czech Republic at half past 4
The main anti-migrant rally Saturday, part of Europe-wide protests in cooperation with Germany’s anti-Islam, anti-immigrant group PEGIDA, is taking place in front of Prague Castle, the presidency seat. Czech President Milos Zeman is known for his anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Martin Konvicka, a leader of the anti-Muslim movement, is calling the influx of refugees an “invasion” that poses a “huge threat for us all.”
Two other anti-migrant groups are rallying in Prague and another in the second-largest Czech city of Brno. Two demonstrations in favor of immigration are also going on in Prague.
Riot police have clashed with demonstrators in Amsterdam as supporters of the anti-Islam, anti-migrant group PEGIDA tried to hold their first protest in the Dutch capital as part of a series of demonstrations in Europe. A square near Amsterdam city hall that had been earmarked for the PEGIDA demonstration had to be shut down shortly before the gathering as police and explosives experts examined what police called a “suspect package.” Only about 200 PEGIDA supporters were present, outnumbered by police and left-wing demonstrators who shouted, “Refugees are welcome, fascists are not!”
Several thousand Pegida supporters turned up in Dresden under clear blue skies in the early afternoon to march along the banks of the River Elbe, which flows through the city, to protest against mass immigration and the “islamisation” of Europe. Police, who deployed around 1,000 officers for the occasion, said Thursday they expected some 15,000 marchers to show up.
An AFP reporter said several thousand had answered the rallying call an hour after the event began at 1400 GMT.
Many held aloft banners criticising German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in the firing line for her liberal stance towards refugees, now increasingly coming in for criticism after Germany took in more than a million migrants last year.
Around 2,000 people — less than the 10,000 expected by police — meanwhile joined an anti-Pegida rally at which participants urged tolerance towards migrants. Anti-Pegida marchers chanted slogans including “no place for Nazis” and “we don’t need xenophobia, demagoguery or Pegida.”
Ireland From the Irish Independent
Violent clashes broke out in Dublin city centre today where an estimated 1,000 demonstrators turned out on O’Connell Street to protest the launch of the anti-Islam group Pegida in Ireland.
As small groups of Pegida supporters approached the GPO from surrounding streets to hold their rally, violent clashes quickly broke out.
One group of approaching Pegida supporters was chased back down Talbot Street by a splinter group, some wearing masks and chanting, “Fascist scum, off our streets.” There were particularly violent clashes between over 100 protestors and police as they gathered outside a pub, in which pro-Pegida protestors. were believed to be gathered.
RTE has confirmed one of its cameramen were injured in the scuffles, and that a formal complaint will be made over the incident.
Peter O’Loughlin, a member of Identity Ireland and supporter of Pegida, told Independent.ie that he was assaulted on the Luas as made he way to the city centre rally. Yesterday evening, he said he was in hospital receiving treatment for a head injury after being hit with a blunt object.
A security guard at a shop on Talbot Street described how a group of 15-20 men chased a man into the shop and began beating him.
Riot police arrived quickly on the scene and pushed the men back up to O’Connell Street as they moved a small number of Pegida members out of the shops and pubs where they had sought refuge during the clashes.
I was not at the silent walk in Solihull Birmingham today. Friends who were there tell me that the day went well, that the speeches were impressive, in particular one from a Pakistani heritage apostate from Islam and to expect videos and a write up later. I’ll link to these when they are live. These photographs were taken by a friend.
Up to 200 supporters of the controversial Pegida organisation joined a march to a remote Birmingham business park today…Police were out in force for the event, as well as a counter demonstration by the Unite Against Fascism group.
There were no reports of serious disorder or injuries. A 39-year-old man from East London was arrested at the counter demonstation for a public order related matter. Another protest against the group under the Birmingham Unites banner was held in Victoria Square in Birmingham city centre.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the people of Birmingham to stay away from march. The Labour leader has called on communities to drink tea with a stranger today, rather than take part in the march near Birmingham, despite the group claiming it is standing against ‘radical Islam’. Mr Corbyn stood beside Birmingham MP Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) with a sign saying “we choose hope” yesterday. The slogan comes from the campaign led by anti-fascist campaigners Hope not Hate.
Opponents of Pegida were also urged to post photos online of themselves drinking tea with other communities.
I can imagine what some of the people in the photograph above are hoping, praying working towards – that Islam will reign supreme through all the land. But what of the others? Do they hope that if they feed the tiger they will be eaten last? Do they hope for a plum role as collaborators? Or a meagre existence as dhimmmis? What do they hope for? and what do they really, if they are honest, expect?
Other demonstrations took place in Warsaw, Bratislava and in Graz in southern Austria.