It was a year ago this week that PEGIDA was born in Dresden, and its first anniversary march and rally took place tonight. 40,000 people reportedly showed up for the occasion, filling up Theaterplatz square in front of the Opera House to listen to the speakers. Tommy Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League, was a surprise guest-speaker at the event.
The recorded live feed from the demonstration is here; look for Tommy’s speech at 2:27:07.
The Daily Mail has extensive coverage of tonight’s demonstration in Dresden, with numerous excellent photos. Below are excerpts:
‘Do not let Germany be dragged back to chaos and destruction’: EDL founder Tommy Robinson speaks to 40,000 strong crowd at the Pegida anti-immigrant rally in Germany
The founder of the EDL has addressed a 40,000-strong crowd in Dresden tonight, as Germany’s far-right celebrates the first anniversary of the anti-refugee group Pegida.
Tommy Robinson, who set up and led the English Defence League, looked out over the crowd of tens of thousands of Germans as police braced themselves for violence.
Despite quitting the far-right group two years ago, after a realisation that his group was ‘part of the problem’, this is Robinson’s second appearance at a Pegida rally this week after appearing at a Pegida anti-Islam rally in Holland last weekend.
The 32-year-old 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.
‘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.’
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.’
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.
Hat tips: For the article, Steen; for the video, Gaia.
For links to previous articles about PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer Gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) and related movements, see the PEGIDA Archives.