PEGIDA - Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident (or "West") - is a Dresden-based movement which has been organizing public demonstrations since October 2014.
The group calling itself "Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes" was founded by Lutz Bachmann and drew support across the country, with citizens taking to the streets in local marches set up by PEGIDA offshoots. It provoked criticism and major counter-demonstrations as well, often outnumbering the original marchers. Political leaders in Germany, including President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel, cautioned that PEGIDA protests represented xenophobia and racism. The success of PEGIDA is believed to be rooted in widespread dissatisfaction with immigration policies in Europe, accompanied by a growing alienation towards the political class. PEGIDA has also courted by far the most success in less affluent areas of Germany. This page collates recent DW content with PEGIDA among the keywords.
Saxony's integration minister Petra Köpping took office in 2014, around the time Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, started marching in the streets of Dresden. As many feared the rise of far-right nationalism, especially in Germany's East, Köpping wanted to understand why so many of her constituents were drawn to xenophobic rallies.
A German court has ruled Dusseldorf's mayor had no right to cut outside lighting on public buildings during a right-wing rally. It also said he violated the law in urging citizens to participate in a counterprotest.