GERMANY: More than 40,000 anti-Islamization demonstrators come out for PEGIDA’s one-year anniversary

“Do not let Germany be dragged back to chaos and destruction.” English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson speaks to the 40,000 strong crowd at anti-Muslim invasion PEGIDA rally in Dresden, Germany.

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UK Daily Mail (h/t Susan K)  As as German patriots celebrate the first anniversary of the popular anti-Islamization group Pegida, Tommy Robinson told the assembled crowd: ‘Do not let Germany be dragged back to chaos and destruction. All of your progress is now threatened. ‘Your current chancellor, Angela Merkel, seems to be handing out the birth right of German citizens like she is handing out candy to children.’

He continued: ‘The current charge held against all of us is that the refugee crisis is similar to World War Two. And like then, we are supposed to respond with great generosity. ‘The difference of course, which we are not permitted to speak about, is the two evils: terrorism and ideology.

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‘We are offered silence, free speech is all but dead in Europe. We live in a post free speech era, the attacks on Charlie Hebdo have proven that to the whole world.  

Only in assemblies like these can the truth be spoken about. And those like me who speak out about the dangers facing our countries, we’re confronted with death threats. We face harassment and persecution.’

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He added: ‘Every country has the right to defend themselves, including Israel. And of course so does every country in Europe, including Germany. ‘I encourage you people to refuse the shame game. Refuse to feel guilty. Germany is not obliged to save the refugee crisis. 

‘This current immigration is an invasion. Our borders are being overrun. There is little or no control. A country that cannot control its borders will soon not be a country.’ He finished: ‘We need one banner. Save our culture. Save our country. Save our future. Unite to save a future for our children.’

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The rally has continued into the night, as senior German officials warned that the extremist movement is stirring up hatred that could lead to clashes.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has been targeted by supporters of the movement, who accused her of ‘treason’ after she opened the country’s borders to refugees.  The rally comes just two days after a pro-refugee mayoral candidate in Cologne was stabbed in the neck by a man who opposed the open border to Muslims policy of the government.

People attending an anti-immigration demonstration organised by PEGIDA walk past opponents of PEGIDA behind police cars, in Dresden

The Pegida movement has expanded rapidly over the summer as the migrant crisis worsened, with the crowds turning up to rallies growing by the week.

The movement, which stands for ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident’, first emerged as an anti-Islam movement in October 2014, organising weekly demonstrations against what it termed the ‘Islamisation’ of the western world. 

But it has made a sudden comeback since September, after Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country’s borders to refugees. Angry protesters have accused her of ‘treason’ and last week carried a mock gallows with Merkel’s name on it. 

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The protester carrying the gallows is facing a possible charge of public incitement to commit crime, with prosecutors suggesting that a suspect is to be questioned imminently. 

Many of the banners on show at the rally today are directed at the chancellor, including one of her in a military uniform with a Euro armband. 

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Tension is heightened in the city as left wing fascist counter-demonstrators also gathered to protest the Pegida rally.  The chancellor today urged people to ‘stay away from those with hate in their hearts’, according to her spokesman.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Pegida’s organisers were ‘hardcore right-wing extremists’ and implored citizens to ‘stay away from those who inject this hate, this poison into our country’. (They are not hardcore right wing extremists, they are the majority of Germans)

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De Maiziere said the attack had left him ‘speechless’ and also pointed to a tripling of attacks against Muslim invaders from last year that had left more than 40 people injured. (Good! But only 40?)

Experts have pointed to a risk that German society is being polarised, with the key motives for participating in the rallies being ‘discontent with German politics’ and ‘fundamental resentments against migrants and asylum-seekers’, according to a study by Dresden’s Technical University. 

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Tension has also flared into violence inside some crowded Muslim shelters. In Hamburg, an 18-year-old Afghan man was hospitalised with head wounds after a mass brawl involving 40 to 50 Muslims overnight. 

Former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, gave a rousing speech