Wow, massive crowds. German nationalist movement sends shock wave through Merkel regime.
GERMANY – […] 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.
It had all but vanished after pictures surfaced in January of its co-founder Lutz Bachmann sporting a Hitler moustache.
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.
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.
Tension is heightened in the city as 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. (read more)