The Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West (German: Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes), abbreviated PEGIDA or Pegida, are a movement that is based in and had its beginnings in Dresden, Germany. On 11 October 2014, Lutz Bachmann started a Facebook group called Peaceful Europeans against the Islamisation of the West (Friedliche Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes). The first street demonstration took place on 16 October 2014. The end goal of the movement is, among other things, to stop the Islamisation of Germany and to lay down concrete measures in the area of migration policy. As stated by Siegfried Däbritz, one of Lutz Bachmann's right-hand people, they are against al Qaeda, Daesh, the PKK, and "all the others". Although the media has classified PEGIDA as rightist, Lutz has said that he leans neither to the left nor to the right. PEGIDA followers are called Pegidisten or Pegidianer (Pegidists or Pegidians), while opponents of the movement are called Antipegidisten or Antipegidianer (anti-Pegidists or anti-Pegidians). The verb "to Pegidaise" is "pegidaisieren" in German. PEGIDA central usually meets every Monday around 18:30 hrs. in Dresden at the location anounced beforehand for that week at . During PEGIDA rallies sometimes nearby anti-Pegidists, such as the Genervte Einwohner protestieren gegen Intoleranz Dresdner Außenseiter (irritated residents protest against the intolerance of Dresden misfits, GEPIDA), will express their disapproval or try to approach the PEGIDA rally.
On 22 July 2016, Facebook shut down the official PEGIDA Dresden Facebook page. First on 19 July the Facebook page had disappeared for several hours, then it came back online. Opponents of the movement campaigned to shut down the page, whose address was swastika. PEGIDA immediately started a replacement page on Facebook, which can be reached, as was the case with its previous page, by . They immediately got 20,000 likes. PEGIDA's opponents at https://www.facebook.com/pegidaevdresden/ got 3,800 likes., and they did in the end succeed on 22 July. Not long afterward, they took over the page to use it for propaganda against PEGIDA. Siegfried Däbritz explained to Epoch Times that the reason they were shut down is that they had a logo in which a man was throwing a swastika in a trash can. This is the logo they had been using for a long time prior to that. It also shows the man throwing a Daesh leaflet, an Antifaschistische Aktion logo, and a PKK leaflet in the trash can along with the
PEGIDA's position paper says:
- PEGIDA is for the reception of war refugees and those who are politically or religiously persecuted. This is a human duty!
- PEGIDA is for the inclusion of the right and the duty of integration in the law of the Federal Republic of Germany (up to now, only the right of asylum has been anchored in the law)!
- PEGIDA is for the decentralised accommodation of war refugees and those who are perscecuted, instead of homes that are sometimes unworthy of human habitation.
- PEGIDA is for a Europe-wide allocation formula for refugees and a just distribution on the shoulders of all European member states!
- PEGIDA is for a sinking of the ratio of distribution in the caretaking of asylum seekers (presently it is a ratio of 200:1).
- PEGIDA is for an asylum application procedure similar to the Dutch and Swiss model and until the adoption of such a policy, for an increase in funding for the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in order to massively shorten waiting times for application and processing, and to make possible a quicker integration!
- PEGIDA is for an increase in funding for the police and against the downsizing of the same!
- PEGIDA is for the utilisation and implementation of existing laws in regard to the subject of asylum and deportation!
- PEGIDA is for a no-tolerance policy toward criminal asylum seekers and migrants!
- PEGIDA is for resistance against misogynistic, violent ideology, but not against Muslims who live here and integrate!
- PEGIDA is for immigration based on the model of Switzerland, Australia, Canada, or South Africa!
- PEGIDA is for sexual self-determination!
- PEGIDA is for the preservation and protection of our Judeo-Christian-stamped Western culture!
- PEGIDA is for the adoption of referenda based on the Swiss model!
- PEGIDA is against the supply of arms to anti-constitutional, forbidden organisations, like for example the PKK.
- PEGIDA is against the approbation of parallel societies and parallel courts in our midst, like sharia courts, sharia police, sharia judges, etc.
- PEGIDA is against this lunatic gender mainstreaming, the nearly obligatory, politically correct gender neutralisation of our speech!
- PEGIDA is against radicalism, whether politically or religiously motivated!
- PEGIDA is against hate preachers, regardless of what religion they adhere to!
Freiheitlich Direktdemokratische Volkspartei
On 13 July 2016, Lutz Bachmann founded the Freiheitlich Direktdemokratische Volkspartei (Free Direct Democratic People's Party), abbreviated FDDV. He publicly made the announcement 18 July at the weekly PEGIDA Monday rally that takes place in Dresden. The FDDV will not compete with the Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany, abbreviated AfD), rather it seeks to work together with the AfD. Political scientist Werner Patzelt has said: 'PEGIDA is the AfD on the street, and the AfD is PEGIDA as a party in the polling booth.' Lutz has said he wants to work with the AfD "at eye level", and that they support the AfD and will only field candidates in a few constituencies. One of the reasons he is founding the party is that he believes Heiko Maas and Markus Ulbig have a PEGIDA-forbiddance in the works, and has said this threat of a forbiddance hovers over PEGIDA 'like a sword of Damocles'. It is harder in Germany to forbid a political party than it is to forbid a protest movement like PEGIDA. Lutz says: 'I remain the Lutz of PEGIDA on the street.'
Pegidists help Dresden police end blockade
On 20 February 2017, Pegidists helped the Dresden police end a blockade comprised of sit-in protesters. It was subsequently announced that 30 people who were demonstrating against PEGIDA were going to be investigated on suspicion that they violated the section of the law that relates to assembling.
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- 'Interne Facebook-Gruppe: Pegida-Anführer nutzen Hitler-Zitate und rassistische Parolen'. Der Spiegel. 10 January 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
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- Bernhard Honnigfort. 'Sitzblockade aufgelöst: Pegida hilft der Dresdner Polizei'. 'Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger', 23 February 2017, http://www.ksta.de/politik/sitzblockade-aufgeloest-pegida-hilft-der-dresdner-polizei-25789756. Accessed 23 February 2017.
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- Bernd Gräßler (30 December 2015). "Angela Merkel calls for solidarity in New Year speech". "Deutsche Welle". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- "Facebook löscht PEGIDA-Seite nach 'Meldemarathon' endgültig". "Epoch Times". 22 July 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
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- Matthias Meisner (20 July 2016). "'Der Lutz von der Straße' gründet eine Partei". "Der Tagesspiegel". Retrieved 28 July 2016.