Close to 2,000 people gathered in Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday to demonstrate against a march held by far-right Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) chanting anti-islamic and anti-immigrant rhetoric seen as Islamophobic and racist.
Around 200 members of PEGIDA organised in Frankfurt’s Rossmarkt Street and vocalised hatred towards the religion of Islam, migrant communities and minorities.
Simultaneously, 2,000 others held protests sporadically against PEGIDA and what they deemed as hatred.
German authorities took the necessary precautions in order to prevent the two groups from conflicting.
Protesters against PEGIDA chanted: "Migrants will be welcomed in Frankfurt" and "Nazis out of Frankfurt.”
Some political parties and leftist groups were also in attendance at the anti-PEGIDA protests.
Despite nearly 1,000 police officers on the scene and barricades separating the protesters, the anti-PEGIDA collective started throwing tomatoes and eggs at the opposing side, with several being detained following the short altercation
Germany is home to millions of Muslim immigrants and recently a public discourse on multiculturalism has opened many charters of debate in the political scene. The countries’ leaders are calling for and promoting integration to migrant families.
PEGIDA is a German far right anti-Islam political group founded in Dresden in October 2014. It organises weekly recurring protests against what it cogitates as Islamisation of the West, its ideology calls for strictly restrictive immigration, especially for Muslims. PEGIDA pursues to alter German legislation.
Inıtıally organising marches attracting up to 1,000 people, its appeal has since narrowed.
The anti-Islam group is seen as a racist and borderline fascist group by many in Europe and has drawn criticism from significant political figures, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.