CHARLOTTE, NC, January 26, 2015 – For centuries the Saxony region of Germany has been a place where protests are born. It has been relatively quiet there for the last quarter of a century. but 25 years after German reunification, Leipzig and Dresden are once more igniting the flames of dissent.
The latest and loudest voices are coming from a group known as the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA). Remember the name. It will soon be as familiar as al-Qaeda and ISIS in the growing war on terrorism around the world, especially in Europe.
Way back in 1989, a series of weekly candlelight protests in Leipzig culminated in a movement that ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany.
In the newest revolution in both Dresden and Leipzig, peaceful demonstrations have been met with angry counter-protesters who have resorted to violence in an effort to halt PEGIDA’s mutiny against Islamization.
In much the same manner as the conservative revolt against media bias in the United States, PEGIDA, and its followers, use the term luegenpresse, which is German for “liar press.”
As with the “political correctness” of the media and the left in this country, PEGIDA’s grievances are largely the same.
Following a rally through the streets of Leipzig last Wednesday, the media reported the numbers of people involved in the march were not as large as expected. Estimates prior to the demonstration were about 100,000, but the actual total was closer to 40,000.
Despite that, what was not reported was that it was the largest demonstration since those that took place back in 1989. Nearly 4,500 policemen were called to duty to separate PEGIDA marchers from their opponents.
Organizers for PEGIDA were undeterred by the backlash from the press in the knowledge that they had succeeded in creating awareness about their concerns. By starting the debate over immigration, citizenship, assimilation and integration, the group expects the movement to rapidly spread into other parts of Europe.
Over the centuries, Saxony has been at the forefront of German dissent. It was in Wittenburg in 1525 that Martin Luther posted his 95 Thesis in protest against the Catholic church. So powerful was his message that the name lives on today in the word “protestant.”
In 1848, revolt once again fueled its way into the unification of Germany.
In 1918, the Weimar republic was also the result of Saxon uprisings, as were the protests against a communist state in 1953. More recently were the candlelight vigils which began in Leipzig in 1989 leading to Germany’s second unification.
Taking a page from the protests of 1989, the PEGIDA marchers employed strategies learned from their parents a generation ago using remarkable self-control and peacefulness. Joining the newcomers, some protest veterans, who also marched in ’89, were visibly proud of the heritage of their region with its historical ability to use massive dissent as a positive means of change.
The protest movement has gained considerable strength in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris earlier in the month.
Europe has long used appeasement as its approach to dealing with immigration, especially within Muslim communities.
Now, as Oliver Lane says in an article for Breitbart News, “Many people in Germany are questioning the post-war consensus that unlimited immigration and multiculturalism (or ghettoisation) is inevitable and desirable for the first time in their lives, and the freedom of thought bug appears to be spreading. A PEGIDA march has even taken place as far away as Bulgaria, with movements planned in many European countries.”
In the United Kingdom, a PEGIDA march is scheduled in the next few weeks in a northern city in the country. As with France and Germany, Great Britain has also been plagued by the lack of assimilation by Muslims.
If, indeed, the PEGIDA movement continues to strengthen, then the Paris attack may one day mark the history turning point when radical Islam made its fatal mistake.
The battle will be long and, sadly, even more bloody, but at least PEGIDA could be a sign of the beginning of the end for the nightmare of Islamic terror.
Also noteworthy is that if PEGIDA truly becomes the catalyst for change, the United States will be abdicating its role as a world leader by being on the sidelines.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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