Germany`s anti-Islam PEGIDA movement breaks up

  30 January 2015    Read: 862
Germany`s anti-Islam PEGIDA movement breaks up
The German anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant group PEGIDA appears to be all but finished after five of its leaders said they were setting up a rival movement amid intense disagreements, Press TV reported.
The five leaders of the so-called Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, resigned en masse on Tuesday night, claiming that they wanted to campaign for democracy and controlled immigration, and that they would stage a march in the eastern German city of Dresden on February 9.

“We five want to reach out to the middle of society... There is a certain level of discontent in the population; this was communicated to us at our rallies and, after we resigned, many people said we must continue,” former PEGIDA committee member Rene Jahn told a news conference on Thursday.

Among those who resigned was Kathrin Oertel, who emerged as the second leader of PEGIDA after its founder and initial leader, Lutz Bachmann, resigned last week following public outrage over a front-page photo of him posing as Adolf Hitler, published in the German daily Bild.

The picture, which was taken two years ago, showed Bachmann looking vengefully into the camera while wearing a toothbrush mustache and having combed the bulk of his hair to one side in the same style as the German despot.

The number of the group’s supporters started to subside following the revelations about Bachmann, with the number of people attending weekly protests dropping from 25,000 to 17,500.

PEGIDA’s latest protests were overwhelmed by counter-rallies across Germany and a rock concert on Monday.

Over 22,000 Germans took part in an anti-PEGIDA rally and a concert held by German rock groups in Dresden, where the far-right group has been holding weekly rallies since October.

Over 15,000 anti-PEGIDA demonstrators also gathered in Frankfurt to outnumber the 70 PEGIDA protesters there.

More than 2,300 demonstrators also showed up at an anti-PEGIDA rally in Munich against an 800-man PEGIDA gathering in the city.

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