The British offshoot of “anti-Islamism” movement Pegida plans to hold a rally outside Downing Street this Saturday with the stated aim of defending “country, values and culture.”
Pegida UK, which models
itself on the German movement of the same name, claims to oppose
what it see as the creeping Islamization of the Western
The name translates as Patriotic Europeans against the
Islamization of the West.
However, their rally will not go unopposed, as anti-racist group
United Against Fascism (UAF) plans to stage a
UAF say Pegida is trying
to “Recreate the
hatred of their allies elsewhere in Europe where thousands have
massed, targeting the Muslim community.”
Pegida UK has staged other events, albeit with mixed success.
In February this year,
the group held its first ever UK march in Newcastle, where they
were confronted by a counter-demonstration organized by a
coalition of trade unionists and anti-fascists, including
Newcastle Stop the War and the University and College Union
Newcastle resident David Kelly, 33, joined the counter-protest.
“We don’t want these people in our city. They don’t belong
here. We are a friendly, tolerant and welcoming place,” he
told the Newcastle Chronicle.
Speaking at that event, Pegida’s keynote speaker Paul Weston
outlined the political aims of the movement to an audience
comprised mostly of white middle-aged men holding Union Flags.
“We are here because nobody else who should be talking about
the problems in this country is talking about them.”
“Although there are moderate Muslims in the country, Islam is
not a religion of peace.”
The counter-demo, which organizers claim numbered up to 3,000,
was addressed by left-wing MP George Galloway, Newcastle United
footballer Moussa Sissoko, and local Labour MP Chi Onwurah.