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Germany: Tens of Thousands Say NO! to Racism, NO! to Xenophobia

Saturday's protest counters last week's rally of the far-right Pegida

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Common Dreams staff
 Tens of thousands participate in a demonstration against racism and xenophobia in Dresden, Germany, Saturday Jan. 10, 2015. The protests Saturday came in reaction to weekly anti-Islamic demonstrations that have been taking place for months in Dresden. The weekly rallies are organized by a group calling itself Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA. Those rallies have been attended by up to 18,000 people, but Saturday’s counter protests mobilized more than twice the crowds. Sign reads: Help Refugees. (Photo: Arno Burgi/AP )

Tens of thousands of people are protesting today in the German city of Dresden against racism and xenophobia.

The Saturday rally was organized to counter the weekly racist and anti-Islamic demonstrations that have been taking place in Dresden. The weekly rallies are organized by the far-right Pegida, the German acronym for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West."

Last Monday's Pegida rally was the largest so far - drawing an estimated 18,000 neo-Nazis and Islamaphobes.

But Saturday's counter protest mobilized a much larger crowd.

German news agency DPA reported Dresden mayor Helma Orosz telling protesters that their city "won't be split apart by hatred."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned Pegida‘s "hate campaigns" and has called on Germans to not participate in Pegida rallies.

Many fear that the attacks in France would increase anti-Islam feelings in Germany and benefit PEGIDA.

 

 

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