Toward late afternoon in Dresden on Monday night.....fifteen-thousand Germans gathered as a protest group called "Pegida". What does it stand for? “Europeans Against Islamization of the Occident”.
What you could have predicted a year ago, has finally occurred. The news media and political folks were always lucky in that these anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim demonstrations generally involved far-right or neo-Nazis. Well....with the Pegida movement.....we've now crossed the line into non-radicals and non-Nazis.
I sat and watched the news media cover this, and interview people on the street. It was a completely peaceful march on Monday night, and the political comments were very limited.
If you sit back and look over the Pegida movement....it started with a simple Facebook site....maybe a hundred-odd members who came out for a protest. Now? It's progressing to a larger movement, which will likely progress outside of Dresden.
The general problem for the government? The national election is three years away. What you'd really like to prefer is that anti-immigration and anti-Islam platforms don't get into the political process building up here. It'd turn the 2017 election into a three-ring circus. From the five big parties.....all have been careful to avoid the topic. The AfD crowd might be the only one that has walked carefully over the topic and suggested immigration has hit a wall and needs some reform.
Add this into the factor.....all of this growth is happening in the midst of winter when people usually don't like to be out in the cold weather for an extended period. What happens in five months when we get to spring-like weather? Massive growth and expansion into other cities?
Pegida is going to be around for a long while, and it might have some significant influence on the 2017 election.