In Germany, tens of thousands of demonstrators and counterdemonstrators gathered in the eastern city of Dresden as the right-wing, anti-Islam Pegida party marked its first anniversary. The regional chairman of the Green Party, Jürgen Kasek, was among those to protest Pegida.
Jürgen Kasek: “We have experienced a year in which divisions have become more deeply entrenched in society, a year in which the situation has become ever more radical and when anybody expressing a different opinion—media representatives, for example—are no longer safe on the streets on Mondays. Therefore, I believe it is extremely important and necessary to send a clear message today and then not to break off, but to continually make it clear that there must be opposition to attitudes that are hostile toward human beings.”
The rallies in Germany came as thousands of refugees seeking to reach Germany and other countries have been stranded in the rain and cold at borders in the Balkans as nations restrict entry.
French Far-Right Leader Marine Le Pen Faces Trial for Hate Speech
In France, Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, is going on trial today on charges of hate speech. At a rally in 2010, Le Pen compared Muslim public prayers to the Nazi occupation.