23:25 GMT +318 January 2019
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    Hundreds of people are expected to gather at the German embassy in London on Monday night for a solidarity vigil to oppose the rise of the far-right political movement in Germany.

    The London demonstration will mirror those taking place in the German cities of Dresden, Cologne and Berlin, which are protesting against the rise of what is considered to be a racist and fascist movement in Germany, headed by the far-right political party PEGIDA.

    In recent months, the group staged demonstrations in German cities, criticising what they perceive to be an increasing influence of Islamic culture in Germany.

    As a reaction, many larger counter demonstrations celebrating multiculturalism in Germany took place, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemning the PEGIDA movement.

    Weyman Bennet, Unite Against Fascism (UAF) joint secretary, told Sputnik UK that the group is making a stand against what he believes is a racist and fascist movement.

    "We're standing in solidarity with the people of Dresden, Cologne and Berlin, saying that we want unity in Europe. We don't want people to encourage divisions because of economic problems; this way, you end up with scapegoating. We want a society based on freedom, equality and to celebrate a multi-racial society."

    He said the solidarity vigil is particularly timely, given the recent attacks in Paris, and the conflict in the Middle East, which has stirred up increased anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic sentiments across some parts of the world. 

    "Unfortunately, we've witnesses a spike in attacks on the Muslim community and I think it's very important that everyone stands out and says that we don't want the Muslim community targeted."

    "We want people to stand together, we don't want division. We want a society where people can stand together — black, white, Muslims, gay, straight, young and old to say that we oppose division and people that want to divide our society."

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