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Thousands form 'living border' against refugees

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Thousands form 'living border' against refugees
Members of Thuringian Pegida offshoot Thügida demonstrating in August. File photo: DPA
10:29 CEST+02:00
People across the eastern state of Saxony took part in demonstrations against refugees being taken into Germany at the weekend, with thousands gathering on the Czech frontier to form a "living border".

Up to 2,500 people assembled peacefully in Sebnitz, directly on the frontier with the Czech republic, to take part in the "living border" demonstration.

Calls to take part in the action had come from people connected with the Pegida ("Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West") movement, which is strongest in the Saxon capital Dresden.

Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann last week learned that he may face a trial for hate speech over Facebook comments comparing refugees to livestock.

The border action followed a "silent march" by around 1,000 people through the city of Chemnitz on Saturday.

They were protesting against plans to open a refugee accommodation centre in a former youth camp belonging to the German Democratic Republic (GDR) Young Pioneers organization.

A similar number of people had demonstrated in Görlitz using the motto "Görlitz defends itself" – facing off against around 500 counter-demonstrators calling themselves "Görlitz open to the world".

Two police officers suffered damage to their hearing after participants in the demonstration threw bangers.

Wave of arson attacks

And in the central state of Thuringia, several fires were lit in and around refugee homes in what state minister-president Bodo Ramelow called "cowardly attempts at murder".

In the Gotha district, unknown arsonists set fire to an inhabited accommodation centre as well as a gym which had been slated to house refugees in the future.

At another site in Friemar district, attackers set fire to mobile toilets outside an accommodation building.

Beyond Thuringia, fires were also set at planned asylum homes in Eichsfeld, Lower Saxony, and Xanten in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Nobody was hurt in any of the attacks.

SEE ALSO: Majority of Germans worried about refugees

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