Monday, October 3, 2016

Far-right protests overshadow German Unity Day

Far-right demonstrators booed Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling her a “traitor” during national unification celebrations in Dresden on Monday.

Angry protestors of the far-right PEGIDA movement protested Merkel’s refugee policy by shouting “traitor”, “get out” and “Merkel must go” as the chancellor arrived at a historic church in Dresden’s city center to attend celebrations marking the 26th anniversary of German reunification.

They carried signs that described Merkel as a dictator and shouted slogans calling for her resignation. PEGIDA followers also booed President Joachim Gauck and the premier of the eastern German state of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich.

The eastern German city of Dresden has been the stronghold of the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement, which drew thousands to anti-refugee protests in the city.

Saxony’s premier Tillich has expressed regret over the anti-refugee protests, and warned that the propaganda of the far-right groups has started to ignite hate and violence.

“That is inhuman and deeply unpatriotic. We are all opposing this,” he said, in his speech at the celebrations.

Far-right crimes have significantly increased in Dresden since 2015, potentially triggered by Neo-Nazi propaganda and right-wing populist movements that have exploited the refugee crisis and fears of Islam...

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