The German anti-immigration and anti-Islam group, PEGIDA, holds its first official march in the United Kingdom, as several thousand of its supporters also turn out in Germany’s Dresden. Gavino Garay reports.
(Reuters) – The German anti-immigration group PEGIDA took its anti-Islam message to Birmingham, England, home to one of the largest Muslim populations in Britain.
It was the group’s first official march in the UK.
The protest was one of 12 planned simultaneously across Europe … in Germany’s Dresden, as well as in Amsterdam and Prague.
PEGIDA was launched in Germany in 2014 — against what the groups says is the “Islamification of the West” and the influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa.
PEGIDA UK organizer Tommy Robinson said there’s a great deal at stake.
PEGIDA UK COORDINATOR, TOMMY ROBINSON,
“The more Islam, the less freedom. That is the reality. I don’t believe that we should be last year, bringing one and a half million young, fighting age, Muslim men into Germany. 600,000 of them have gone missing. 150,000 from Sweden. We don’t know who they are, what their motives are in Europe.”
But some PEGIDA opponents in Birmingham said they were disgusted the march even took place in their city.
ANTI-FASCIST PROTESTER, CHOSE NOT TO DISCLOSE NAME,
“I think it’s an abomination that they are marching really. Why a Neo-Nazi group should be allowed to march and perpetuate the same hate against the Jewish community in the 1920s.”
Many PEGIDA members say their message has been distorted by the media, and that they are simply ordinary citizens concerned about coping with an influx of migrant refugees last year.