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    Counter-demonstrators hold up placards reading 'no Pegida, no ISIS and Fascism never again' as they protest against Duegida, a local copycat of Dresden's right-wing populist movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) in Duesseldorf

    Pegida Opponents to Rally Ahead of Anti-Islamization Protest

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    "No Pegida," a German movement who claimed to be opponents of the "anti-Islamization" group Pegida is set to gather in central Dresden just hours before a scheduled Pegida protest.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Opponents of the "anti-Islamization" group Pegida in the eastern German city of Dresden are preparing to show a united front ahead of what they say is an attempt by the far-right to build an EU-wide radical network.

    "No Pegida," a German movement aimed at offsetting the rise of the anti-immigration and anti-Islamist umbrella organization called Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, is set to gather in central Dresden just hours before a scheduled Pegida protest that has Geert Wilders, a notorious Dutch right-wing leader, as a key guest speaker.

    "If the increasingly radical Pegida succeeds in holding this event, it can serve as a concept for building a European right-wing network," No Pegida said in a statement.

    Pegida's demonstration is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT), while the No Pegida rally will be held at 12:30 p.m. (10:30 GMT).

    Last week, Pegida urged its supporters to "come in thousands" to its 23rd demonstration in its home city. It hired Wilders, who heads a like-minded Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, as a guest of honor for the rally, and said he will stand by the German movement in what it termed as a "fight for freedom."

    No Pegida blames Pegida for the worsening social climate in the eastern German state of Saxony. It claims that the number of attacks on refugees, migrants and other vulnerable people in the region has surged since Pegida held its first protest October 2014.

    Pegida's early rallies initially went unnoticed until it began gathering worldwide notoriety for its increasingly harsh anti-immigration rhetoric. The group's fearful polemic struck a chord with some Germans, expressing their unhappiness with a rising influx of refugees and what they regard as their fear of a growing impact of Islam on Europe's cultural identity.


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