On Sunday according to police 200 supporters of the “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West,” (Pegida) showed up at a rally held in Ressel Park in the Center of Vienna, while six people were arrested for giving “Nazi Salutes.”
The rally ended with no violence, however, six people were arrested over ‘Nazi Salutes,’ despite the fact that Pegida Vienna organizers had asked their followers to avoid any such gestures or symbols.
Four hundred police were on duty and separated the anti-Islam group and the 600 counter-demonstrators the group was confronted by.
Ignaz Beath a guest speaker of Pegida from Switzerland called on Pegida followers to “preserve your own culture and not to finance your own genocide.”
The Pegida supporters moved away after counter-demonstrators gathered outside of the Vienna University of Technology and made their way down to the center of the park chanting “Down with Pegida.”
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.
Pegida has drawn attention to itself with several hundred-strong demonstrations in Germany after conducting their first rally last October.