German citizens are starting to get fed up with the country’s massive influx of refugees from the Middle East, as protesters have started lashing out against the situation.
Recently, German protesters demonstrated in the city of Dresden, complaining about Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. Photos of the scene resulted in national outrage on social media websites.
The demonstration was a part of the “Pegida” protest rally movement, which recently managed to attract over 9,000 protesters. The protest has taken place every Monday for the previous year.
The protesters set up symbolic gallows that demonstrators claimed were for Chancellor Merkel and Vice Chancellor Gabriel. It is unclear whether or not the gallows were created with the help of the leadership of Pegida. Gabriel’s name was intentionally misspelled by protesters.
Additionally, speeches from the demonstrators show that the movement is quickly becoming more radical in nature. Founder of the movement, Lutz Bachmann, recently referred to the chancellor’s government as a “Berlin dictatorship”. Earlier this year, Bachmann temporarily left his position as leader of the movement after pictures of him posing as Adolf Hitler were posted on the internet.
Meanwhile, some protesters made direct threats against German politicians. They said that the leaders of their country were traitors, while others made hateful comments against Muslim immigrants.
Some leaders of the Pegida movement have expressed regret over their involvement. One former leader, Lathrin Oertel, made an apology video to Muslims in April.
Oertel said in the video, “I feel partially responsible for a campaign of hatred we caused. I want to apologize and the only thing I can do is to help resolve those tensions. Those (who are) still belonging to the Pegida movement need to understand that they are advocating for the wrong cause.”
However, as the war in Syria continues to escalate thanks to Russia’s involvement, European countries should continue to expect an influx of immigrants. The situation does not look like it will improve any time soon, and the protests are only likely to increase in hostility and intensity.