Dresden protest against anti-Islam Pegida group banned over snowball fight fears

'The possibility of snowballs being thrown cannot be excluded'

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 24 January 2017 16:07
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Pegida
Pegida

A protest against the anti-Islam group Pegida in Dresden has been banned over fears a snowball fight could erupt.

Dresden town hall said it could not allow the counter-protest to go ahead because "the possibility of snowballs being thrown cannot be excluded."

Snowball fights broke out during previous demonstrations in the city, The Local reports the authorities claimed in their decision.

Anti-Islam movement PEGIDA stages protests across Europe

The man who submitted the proposals, Benjamin H, has previously organised several protests against Pegida and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

He told the German daily Tagesspiegal he feared "the whole culture of protesting will go down the drain if you are only ever allowed to stand in the corner."

Mr H had already agreed to numerous restrictions for the protest, including not using a loudspeaker van and preventing participants from using whistles.

At the request of the authorities, his protest was to be held in a small corner of the central square, far away from where the far-right group would demonstrate.

The authorities also said, since the protest was expected to attract over 100 participants, "a gathering of this size is a good cover for possible disruptors."

Members of Pegida, which stands for "Patriotic Europeans against Islamisation of the West," have been accused of racism, fascism and xenophobia.

Pegida holds weekly Monday marches in Dresden and has formed factions in several European countries, including the UK.

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