Anti-Islamist PEGIDA rally in Dresden called off after threat

From Deutsche Welle

Dresden’s police called off Monday’s PEGIDA demonstration because of a “concrete threat against a member” of the organizing body. The police chief on Sunday issued a blanket ban on all demonstrations in the city on Monday, citing the threat of an attack.

“On analyzing the current situation, we now no longer believe this is an abstract danger, but rather a concrete one,” Dieter Kroll of Dresden’s police said. Kroll said that one particular member of PEGIDA and that person’s entourage was most at risk.

The comments seemed to suggest that Lutz Bachmann, the 41-year-old widely credited as founder and organizer of PEGIDA, might be the subject of the threat. Mass-circulation daily Bild reported online that this was the case.

Kathrin Oertel, another senior PEGIDA figure, said afterwards that all of the organization’s supporters had been told to stay at home, and not to travel to Dresden on Monday. PEGIDA also announced the cancelation on security grounds via its Facebook page.

“It is a grave infringement on freedom of opinion and the right to assembly, if it is possible for terrorist forces to lever out our constitutionally guaranteed right, but your safety comes first,” PEGIDA wrote on its Facebook page, saying that its members and the police were working to ensure a rally could take place next Monday, January 26.

After this, in block capitals, the group wrote an appeal for “all Europeans who are for freedom of opinion and against religious fanaticism of any kind” to wave their national flag out of the window and display a lighted candle in their window at the planned time of Monday’s march, 6:30 p.m. local time¬†

All other Pegida rallys in 10 citys in Germany will be held as planned.