• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Pegida offshoot fails to draw Dresden crowds

Sabine Devins · 9 Feb 2015, 10:14

Published: 09 Feb 2015 10:14 GMT+01:00

DDfE was envisioned as a "less extreme" Pegida, said founder Kathrin Oertel, who left the Patriots Against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida) two weeks ago following the Hitler photo scandal involving the group's former leader.

"We're starting all over again," Oertel told the crowd who had gathered in front of Dresden's Frauenkirche.

The DDfE also launched its platform, which advocates for freedom of expression and better internal security, as well as a reform of immigration and asylum laws. DDfE is moving away from the anti-Islam stance that has come to define its predecessor.

Oertel also announced that DDfE would meet every two weeks, but never on Mondays, saying that day would remain "Pegida day" in Dresden.

Oertel also expressed regret that Pegida had become a platform for the right-wing extremist political party, the National Democratic Party (NPD), while also stating that she hopes her new group will become a "voice for the people". 

The new leader also made a move to make amends with the press, saying she had been disgusted by Pegida's adoption of the term Lügenpresse or lying press. 

Pegida back in business?

On Monday, Pegida is expected to meet again after a two-week hiatus brought on by a massive split in the group, which led to Oertel and four others in the Pegida organising team cutting ties with Pegida.

The conflict came from a decision as to how much involvemnt Lutz Bachmann, Pegida's founder, should be able to have following allegations that he referred to immigrants as "cattle" and "trash" in a conversation on Facebook.

Bachmann also posted a picture of himself styled as Hitler in tribute to the satirical novel, "Look Who's Back", which sees the Nazi leader take a stroll around Berlin's Mitte district 66 years after the end of the Second World War.   

Dresden's Pegida demonstrations peaked with 25,000 marchers in mid-January but have since seen a steady decline in the wake of terrorist threats and the Hitler-associated photos.

Pegida plans to also gather in Dresden's Altmarkt in front of the Frauenkirche and has registered a demonstration with 5,000 participants.

No demo for Leipzig

Meanwhile, the Leipzig offshoot, Legida, has been banned from marching due to the movement overwhelming available police at previous demonstrations, the Saxon city's mayor told MDR broadcaster on Monday.

Story continues below…

"We cannot guarantee the city's safety with 1,000 police officers," Mayor Burkhard Jung said, after banning the demonstration planned for this Monday evening.

The move has created a debate in the German parliament, with politicians from Die Linke (The Left) and the right-of-centre Christian Democratic Union (CDU) saying Jung's prohibition impeded on the constitutional right to gather.  

Legida has also been blighted by lower-than-expected turn out and the demonstrations, unlike those in Dresden, have seen violence as demonstrators attacked police and journalists

SEE ALSO: 'Xenophobes' are one-third of Pegida, says study

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sabine Devins (sabine.devins@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Brexit vote
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
A sign in Berlin's tech giant and startup-building company Rocket Internet. Photo: DPA.

London is currently thought of as the main hub for startups in Europe, but that will all turn around when the UK leaves the EU, tech industry experts say.

Brexit vote - Analysis
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
British Leave campaigners celebrate Brexit result. Photo: DPA

Britain leaving the EU means trouble ahead for Germany - and its hardest task will be convincing the Brits to drop a self-defeating ideology, a leading foreign policy expert told The Local.

How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Photo: DPA.

Considering a change of passport after the UK's vote to ditch the EU? Here’s how to do it.

Germany makes fracking verboten
A sign in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA.

German lawmakers approved a law that essentially bans fracking, ending years of dispute over the controversial technology to release oil and gas locked deep underground.

Brexit vote
German far right 'cries for joy' after UK votes to leave EU
Left to right: AfD's Beatrix von Storch and Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA

The far-right AfD party called for a "new Europe" and the resignation of the EU's top two politicians in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Brexit vote
Merkel: Brexit has cut into European unity
Angela Merkel at a press conference after the Brexit vote on Friday. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that the UK's decision to leave the EU has created a "cut in Europe" and the project of European unity.

Couple copulating on bridge shut down Autobahn
Kaiserlei Bridge in Frankfurt. Photo: Dontworry / Wikimedia Commons.

It was a highly unusual choice of location for a romantic rendezvous, police in Frankfurt point out.

Brexit vote
Germany: Brexit vote is a 'sad day for Europe'
A British flag along with other flags of European Union member countries flies in front of the European Council building in Strasbourg, France. Photo: EPA.

Top German leaders declared that it was a "sad day for Europe" after British voters opted to leave the European Union.

Viernheim hostage-taker wasn't carrying lethal weapon
A police officer stands guard in front of the cinema in Viernheim. Photo: DPA

The 19-year-old German man who took over a dozen people hostage in a cinema in western Germany on Thursday was carrying replica weapons, prosecutors have confirmed.

Brexit vote
German stock market sees biggest drop since 2008 crash
Photo: DPA

News that British voters had opted to leave the EU led to panic in Germany's largest stock index.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Gallery
7 photos which show the aftermath of Bavaria's Autobahn bridge collapse
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sport
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Bayer's Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
7,895
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd