Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 September 2019

Germans protest against racism at far-right stronghold

Up to 20,000 people gathered in Dresden on Saturday against the far right

Protesters participate in the Unteilbar ("indivisable") march against racism, exclusion and exploitation and for an open society on August 24, 2019 in Dresden, Germany. Getty Images
Protesters participate in the Unteilbar ("indivisable") march against racism, exclusion and exploitation and for an open society on August 24, 2019 in Dresden, Germany. Getty Images

Thousands of people attended a protest against racism and discrimination in the German city of Dresden on Saturday, a week before two state elections in the country's east, in which the far-right Alternative for Germany party is expected to make gains.

Saturday's "Indivisible" demonstration in Dresden — the capital of Saxony, one of the states that holds elections on September 1 — comes after a protest under the same title in Berlin in October. Organisers said the Berlin protest drew more than 240,000 people.

News agency dpa reported that up to 20,000 people gathered for the beginning of Saturday's protest, and organisers later said it drew at least 35,000. Those who showed up included Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a leading figure in the centre-left Social Democrats of Germany, who said "there is a great willingness to show that we must do something" and stand up for democracy.

Saxony has for years been a stronghold of Alternative for Germany, and the anti-migration group Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West rose to prominence with weekly protests in Dresden.

Saturday's organisers said that "Dresden is much, much more than Pegida."

Updated: August 25, 2019 12:09 PM

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