Tensions build between Anti-Islam protesters in Dresden, Germany

World Today

Dresden, Germany has become the epicenter of Europe’s movement against Muslim immigration. Weekly rallies held there by Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, also known as PEGIDA, have begun in other countries. CCTV’s Guy Henderson reported this story from Dresden, Germany.

The media wasn’t welcome.

Neither were the few hundred anti-PEGIDA protesters who are looking to counter the swell of anti-immigration sentiment that’s persisted here for months.

Tensions build between anti-islam protesters

Dresden, Germany has become the epicenter of Europe’s movement against Muslim immigration. Weekly rallies held there by Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, also known as PEGIDA, have begun in other countries. CCTV’s Guy Henderson reported this story from Dresden, Germany.

“I’m annoyed about so many right-wing radicals coming here and that there are so many people from Dresden who are supporting this,” an anti-PEGIDA protester who didn’t give his name said.

Police held their line, despite a few heated moments as several thousand people filed in for the main event.

Inside the Dresden’s large square, it was comparatively subdued a much-reduced crowd from other recent gatherings led by the group called the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, in German.

There is a new face on the podium, after its co-founder, Katrin Oertel’s predecessor was sidelined when a photograph emerged of him dressed, apparently, as Adolf Hitler.

Leaders said that’s all part of a witch hunt by journalists and politicians.

“Have a close look around – our opponents are calling us Nazis, they are flailing around, they are trying to defame us to keep the people quiet,” PEGIDA leader Katarin Oertel said.

Most were not willing to speak but one PEGIDA supporter on the sidelines did briefly.

“My impression is that media is reporting inaccurately,” a pro-PEGIDA male who didn’t give his name said. “I don’t agree with every aspect of PEGIDA but it’s important to talk about their agenda.”

Talks have happened but a majority of Germans remain on the other side of the debate.

Last week’s march was called off because of a specific threat to this event. That may have kept some people away – but not all.

Anti-PEGIDA groups are equally determined not to blink first – they’ve organized a concert in Dresden on Monday.

crowds dispersed quietly. Almost as if, the momentum may be waning.