Thousands of far-right protesters rally against migrant policy

2016-01-12 09:06
Protesters attend a demonstration of Leipzig's Europeans against the Islamization of the West (LEGIDA), a group linked with the PEGIDA movement, in Leipzig, eastern Germany, January 11, 2016. (Markus Schreiber, AP)

Protesters attend a demonstration of Leipzig's Europeans against the Islamization of the West (LEGIDA), a group linked with the PEGIDA movement, in Leipzig, eastern Germany, January 11, 2016. (Markus Schreiber, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Leipzig - Thousands of far-right protesters rallied in the eastern German city of Leipzig on Monday against the record refugee influx they blamed for sexual violence against women at New Year's Eve festivities.

The crowd loudly vented its anger at Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom they accuse of destroying their homeland by allowing in 1.1 million asylum seekers last year.

"We are the people", "Resistance!" and "Deport them!", chanted the followers of LEGIDA, the local chapter of xenophobic group PEGIDA, the "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident".

A heavy police presence, with water canon at the ready, kept watch over the crowd of several thousand, and separated them from thousands of counter-demonstrators, as rain poured down.

While the rally stayed peaceful, police said some 250 far-right hooligans had thrown rocks and smashed shop windows in a traditionally left-wing student district of the city, before police dispersed them.

The key theme of the LEGIDA protest was the New Year's Eve attacks in the western city of Cologne, where hundreds of women reported being groped and robbed by men described as Arabs and North Africans, in scenes that have shocked the country.

(Markus Schreiber, AP)

Justice Minister Heiko Maas earlier on Monday warned that "those who now hound refugees – on the Internet or on the streets – have obviously just been waiting for the events of Cologne" and were now "shamelessly exploiting" the attacks.

"Refugees not welcome!" read one sign, showing a silhouette of three men armed with knives pursuing a woman, while another declared "Islam = terror".

"Since New Year's Eve, nothing is like it was," said one speaker, PEGIDA activist Tatjana Festerling, who decried the night's "sex jihad against women".

"Asylum-Mummy Merkel had barely delivered her New Year's address to the people when in Cologne the first fireworks hit the cathedral and police," she said.

"Then these Muslim refugees started their wholesale terror attack against German women, against blonde, white women," she said to loud boos from the crowd.

Waving a sign declaring "State of injustice", 44-year-old demonstrator Lukas Richter said "Merkel is breaching the constitution and must go," and that "the government must close the borders and return all illegal migrants".

He charged that the New Year's Eve attacks highlighted "the violence of foreigners in Germany that has existed for years".

One sign mocked Merkel's "We can do it" motto on the refugee influx, saying "You can't even secure a train station".

(Markus Schreiber, AP)

Read more on:    germany

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.