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Pegida celebrates anniversary demo with Höcke

DRESDEN. Before Pegida's 200th Monday demonstration, Saxon AfD chief Jörg Urban recognized the movement's commitment. “It is good and important that citizens exercise their right to demonstrate if they are dissatisfied with government policies. And Pegida has created a platform for this in Dresden,” Urban told Junge Freiheit.

The "tenacity and perseverance" of the Pegida demonstrators require great respect, the AfD politician added. "Especially when you consider the hostility they have been exposed to for years." He himself will not be present at the demonstration on Monday evening, since he is not currently in Dresden. "But there will be many AfD members and MPs on site."

Pegida meets on Monday evening in Dresden in front of the Frauenkirche for the 200th so-called evening walk. In addition to Pegida bosses Lutz Bachmann and Siegfried Däbritz, Thuringia's AfD chief Björn Höcke is also expected to speak. It is not Höcke's first appearance in Dresden.

Kretschmer calls for a counter protest
Churches and politicians have called for protests against the demonstration in the evening. Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) and Dresden Mayor Dirk Hilbert (FDP) have also announced their arrival as private individuals. Likewise the new Federal Government Commissioner for the East, Marco Wanderwitz (CDU).

Brandenburg's AfD chief Andreas Kalbitz will also take part on the Pegida side. "Pegida Dresden is an important building block in the network of civic movements in the area of ​​the AfD," said Kalbitz of the JF. The same applies to initiatives like “Zukunft Heimat” or “One Percent”, added the AfD politician. "The presence of Björn Höcke and me is also a thank you for the important support in the eastern election campaign".

Pegida has been demonstrating in Dresden almost every week since October 2014. In the gatherings, up to 30,000 demonstrators followed the alliance's call. In April 2015, the Dutch Islam critic Geert Wilders also appeared at Pegida in Dresden.

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