Dresden tolerance concert draws 22,000
DPA/The Local · 27 Jan 2015, 08:17
Published: 27 Jan 2015 08:17 GMT+01:00
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Police said that 22,000 people gathered “completely peacefully” to hear artists and bands including Germany's biggest-selling singer Herbert Grönemeyer.
Grönemeyer said that he understood the disillusionment of some Pegida supporters with politics, but couldn't accept “that as a target and projection of these fears that you have, to suddenly seek out a religion.
“We've already had that once before,” he warned.
Pegida organizers held their regular Monday “evening stroll” a day early this week, but there were a number of the group's supporters among the concert-goers waving German and Saxon flags.
One small group chanted “We Are the People” (Wir Sind das Volk) – a slogan borrowed from the 1989 demonstrations in the German Democratic Republic – while others held signs reading “Islam does not belong to Saxony”.
In other cities, large numbers of counter-demonstrators blocked Pegida events.
Frankfurt saw a crowd of 3,000 people block around 70 Pegida demonstrators from marching through the city.
Spiegel reported that 29 people were injured in Hanover at a clash between members of Pegida offshoot Hagida and counter-demonstrators.
After police and demonstrators sprayed one another with pepper spray and both sides threw fireworks and bottles - injuring 24 officers and five demonstrators - 22 Hagida participants and 29 counter-demonstrators were arrested.
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