Over recent weeks....Pediga has become a word thrown about by the German news media. It's a anti-immigration movement that has its general roots in Dresden. It's an odd beginning....starting in October of last year (2014) and having some connection to the ISIS campaign going on at the time in Syria and Iraq.
A local guy (Bachmann) is the guy who kinda started the initial cause. It was simply to say something about a rally held in mid-town Dresden. You'd look at the original group and just say it was minor in nature and probably was limited to several dozen members. Bachmann? He's an interesting character with some brief episodes with German cops....accusations of burglary, an episode or two of DUI, and some crime of holding cocaine in some minor way (probably more of a user amount than a dealer amount, or at least it's told that way). Yeah, he's actually done two years of jail time in a German jail, and today is a productive member of Dresden (actually paying taxes).
So, Pediga started with this oddball group.....some right-wing folks, some soccer hooligans, some angry residents from town, and some people who just had frustrated feelings over immigration and Islam. The movement from October to early December? It went from dozens to hundreds, and onto thousands.
To be blunt....mass media didn't pump it up....they tried to stall it. Accusations of 'Nazi-pin-stripes' and racism were thrown around....but the bulk of the demonstration crowd didn't care. Social media helped? Yeah.....between Twitter and Facebook....they got their message out. The anti-Pediga crowd? They've awoken in the past couple of weeks and tried to use the same devices to counter Pediga. Yesterday....roughly thirty-five thousand showed up and tried to put a positive face on their movement.
What helped Pediga in early December were these nineteen outlined points or goals. They made them simple enough to understand, and made people think about each of the intentions of the nineteen.
The news media? With only an exception or two....just about every single news media source in Germany has avoided discussions or even listing the nineteen outlined goals/points. The attitude is....if you don't mention something....it'll just go away.
What makes Dresden different and more fertile for this type of movement? For centuries....Dresden has been this academic center for Europe. You might stir in fifty years of DDR control and Soviet-like lifestyles/culture.....but Dresden has had a massive number of intelligent and innovative people within it's sphere of influence. This is where people meet at cafes....talking intensely about politics, science, developments, religion, and news media....to develop in-depth thought processes. Facts tend to matter more than opinion, in such an atmosphere.
The mix of the town? Well....it's just over fifty-one percent female. If you ask about foreign influence in Dresden, it's a odd factor that most cities don't have. Roughly ninety-one percent of the city is pure-German. Around five-percent are from European countries. Roughly .2-percent is Turkish. Roughly one percent come from Asia. And around one percent comes from Africa.
From the city council, the political affiliation is fairly wide. From the seventy seats possible....the CDU (right-leaning party) owns 21 seats. The Linke Party (the far-left former Communist Party) has fifteen seats. The Greens and SPD Party split roughly twenty seats. And various smaller parties hold the remaining seats.
Remarkable things about the city? There's been only two noteworthy items of discussion over the past five years. The first was the silly bridge argument.....where the city agreed to build a significant bridge across the Elbe River in town.....angering the UNESCO crowd about the bridge design and the historical look of the city being changed. The second item was Dresden clearing off all debt and being the first metropolitan city in Germany.....to be debt-free (2006). Beyond those two things....nothing much has occurred over the past decade.
This is a place that you wouldn't expect anti-immigration topics or anti-Muslim tendencies. There's no population in the background to make them big topics. The simple view is that they woke up....looked at developing episodes and facts, and reached a conclusion without the aide of journalism or political figures.
Tomorrow night? Last week's rally was 35,000. With the Paris episode fresh on people's minds....I'm thinking it'll easily reach 50,000 tomorrow night.
Where does this lead onto? The news media has tried hard to use 'Nazi-pin-stripes' and attach it to the movement. Frankly, it's not working. The political folks are a bit scared over where this might go onto.....if other cities had developments occur. 2017's election is only three years away. AfD might take the case to the public and find thirty-five percent of Germans willing to vote this way, and really change the future ahead for Germany, and Muslims.
In short, a little group appeared out of nowhere, and are making bold statements which attract German voters. A bit of history....reoccurring? It makes you go back and examine what really happened in the 1920s and 1930s.