Two police injured as anti-Islam rallies reignite
DPA/The Local · 15 Sep 2015, 13:18
Published: 15 Sep 2015 13:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Sep 2015 13:18 GMT+02:00
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An estimated 500 people marched for Legida in Leipzig on Monday in a protest that soon devolved into violent clashes, injuring two officers as Legida demonstrators started hurling objects like bottles and fireworks at police.
Another 1,000 counter-protesters also showed up to demonstrate against Legida. Police said that counter-protesters also breached the peace, turning over police barricades and resisting police.
Some of the Legida marchers were masked while others appeared to be violent "football clientele", a police spokesman said, though he did not call them hooligans.
Police used batons, tear gas and even set up a water cannon against protesters.
Pegida supporters in Dresden - where the anti-Islam movement began - also formed a protest on Monday, drawing more than 5,000 people for the first time in months.
Co-founder and leader Lutz Bachmann told supporters at the demonstration that he wanted to establish Pegida as an official political party to run in local, state and federal elections.
A supporter of the Pegida movement, Tatjana Festerling, was a candidate in the Dresden mayoral election earlier this year before she announced her withdrawal after garnering 9.6 percent of the votes.
Bachmann had previously stepped down as leader after a photo surfaced of him styled as Adolf Hitler, but he was later reinstated.
Pegida - "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" - was founded last year, but support for the group has waned since mass demonstrations at the beginning of the year drew in up to 25,000 people.