German anti-Islam Rally Draws Big Crowds in Dresden

The weekly rallies are being organized by a group called Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, and started last October.

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Sympathizers of German right-wing populist movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) attend their twelfth march in Dresden, eastern Germany on January 12, 2015.
Sympathizers of German right-wing populist movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) attend their twelfth march in Dresden, eastern Germany on January 12, 2015.Credit: AFP

Strong crowds have shown up for an anti-Islam rally in Dresden, where some protesters are wearing black ribbons to show their solidarity with the victims last week's terror attacks in Paris.

The weekly rallies are being organized by a group called Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, and started last October. Dresden police said Monday night they couldn't yet give exact numbers, but last week's rally drew 18,000 people.

In other cities across Germany, those attending counter protests outnumbered anti-Islam demonstrators by far. Berlin police said 4,000 people demonstrated against an anti-Islam rally of 400. In Munich 20,000 people took to the streets and only 1500 anti-Islam protesters showed up.

Leipzig police estimated that 15,000 counter protesters had showed up, along with many fewer anti-Islam demonstrators.

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