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Pegida plans to hold anti-Islam demo in Vienna

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A Pegida march in Dresden. Photo: APA/DPA
09:58 CET+01:00
The Vienna branch of the German anti-Islam movement Pegida has announced that it plans to hold a demonstration in the Austrian capital on February 2nd, at 6.30pm. Numerous left-wing counter demonstrations are also planned.

A police spokesman said on Thursday that police are still considering whether to allow the Pegida march to go ahead.

Organizers have said that they expect around 250 people to march through the city centre, from Europaplatz near to the Westbahnhof, down Mariahilfer Strasse, ending at Museumsplatz.

The rally would be held under the title ‘Peaceful movement of the civil rights movement Pegida Vienna’. If it does go ahead there is likely to be a heavy police presence to prevent clashes with left-wing activists.

The left-wing group NOWKR has called on its members to try and prevent the march, should it go ahead, by setting up blockades at Europaplatz.

Pegida is a growing far-right populist movement, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, and is based in Dresden. 

In Germany it is dominated by disenchanted citizens but also supported by neo-Nazis and hard-right football hooligans, and it has spawned half a dozen clone movements.

Pegida has called on its members to wear black armbands in their weekly demonstrations in Dresden, after Wednesday’s deadly attack on journalists in Paris.

The leader of Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, has said that the FPÖ supports Pegida, saying that “anti-fascist engagement is needed”.

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