Germany: Tens of thousands march in Dresden against Pegida and hatred
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Dresden on Saturday for a demonstration convened in support of good relations and the openness of German society to the rest of the world. The event is yet another response to the anti-Islamic demonstrations being held in the Saxon capital by the "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamicization of the West" (Pegida) movement.
Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that Saxon Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich and Mayor of Dresden Helma Orosz called for people to participate in the demonstration. Support for the event was expressed by churches and various cultural and public organizations.
"We must not permit ourselves to be divided by hatred," Orosz emphasized in a statement. Organizers estimated that around 35 000 people in Dresden Saturday expressed disagreement with the activities of the Pegida movement.
Resistance to Pegida in Germany is growing. The movement has been rejected by representatives of the governing Christian Democratic Union (CDO) and Social Democratic Party (SPD), as well as by the opposition Greens and The Left.
German Chancellor Angela Merkl and her Social Democratic predecessors Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schröder have also criticized Pegida's activity. Representatives of the Pegida movement have been exploiting the terrorist attacks committed since last Wednesday in Paris, claiming they confirm the correctness of their position.
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