News / Europe

    Anti-Migrant Protesters Rally in Several Major European Cities

    Supporters of the anti-Islam movement Pegida hold a poster depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel with text reading "We are coming, mommy!" during a demonstration in Dresden, Germany, Feb. 6, 2016.
    Supporters of the anti-Islam movement Pegida hold a poster depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel with text reading "We are coming, mommy!" during a demonstration in Dresden, Germany, Feb. 6, 2016.
    VOA News

    Germany's anti-Islamic organization Pegida held rallies in several European cities Saturday to protest against mass immigration and what it calls the “Islamization” of Europe.

    Several thousand supporters of Pegida, which is the German acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident, demonstrated in Dresden, Germany, the movement's birthplace.

    Riot police clashed with demonstrators in Amsterdam, where about 200 Pegida supporters held their first protest in the Dutch capital. The riot police, who outnumbered both the Pegida supporters and those protesting against it, intervened to separate the opposing sides and detained several people from both groups.

    Opponents of the anti-Islam movement Pegida gather during demonstrations in Dresden, Germany, Feb. 6, 2016.
    Opponents of the anti-Islam movement Pegida gather during demonstrations in Dresden, Germany, Feb. 6, 2016.

    In Birmingham, Pegida held its first official march in Britain, although it involved fewer than 200 participants. Its coordinator, Tommy Robinson, said that the last year’s influx of 1½ million immigrants should not be repeated.

    "The more Islam, the less freedom. That is the reality," he said. "I don't believe that we should be bringing in last year 1½ million young, fighting age, Muslim men into Germany. Six hundred thousand of them have gone missing, 150,000 from Sweden. We don't know who they are, what their motives are in Europe. We have already seen 130 people killed by so-called refugees in France. We have a big problem."

    Activists against migrants shout slogans as they participate in a protest organized by the anti-Islam group Pegida in Calais, France, Feb. 6, 2016.
    Activists against migrants shout slogans as they participate in a protest organized by the anti-Islam group Pegida in Calais, France, Feb. 6, 2016.

    Some Pegida supporters, like Bill Weir, expressed concerns about the inability of a number of Muslims to integrate in Western societies.

    "We’ve got a really, truly multicultural society and we all benefit from it, but it's being distorted by one particular ideology, who will not under any circumstances integrate with us," Weir said. "That's the truth, people don't like it and because of that I get called a racist, a fascist, a Nazi. I'm neither of those things."

    Other demonstrations for and against immigration took place Saturday in the Czech Republic cities of Prague and Brno; Warsaw, Poland; Bratislava, Slovakia; the French cities of Calais and Montpellier; and Graz in southern Austria.

    The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland have taken a tough stance on migration and opposed European Union calls to take in significant numbers of refugees.

    Members of the Garda Public Order Unit and riot police confront protesters at an anti-racism demonstration against the launch of an Irish branch of Pegida in Dublin, Ireland, Feb. 6, 2016.
    Members of the Garda Public Order Unit and riot police confront protesters at an anti-racism demonstration against the launch of an Irish branch of Pegida in Dublin, Ireland, Feb. 6, 2016.

    Pegida began in mid-2014 and has since spread to other countries, as Europe struggles to cope with its worst refugee crisis since World War II. The refugees, most fleeing war-torn Syria, sought asylum in the EU counties in 2015, almost three-quarters of them in Germany.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 07, 2016 3:11 PM
    "We’ve got a really, truly multicultural society and we all benefit from it"

    Chancellor Merkel says multiculturalism is a failure. Entirely different cultures with different values, different norms, different everything living within each others' borders. Seems a clash of cultures is inevitable. This is not how the US works, we have a melting pot society where there are broadly agreed core values that allow for the maximum freedom of individuality within rational laws that are democratically enacted within the limits of a constitution and enforced. Europe as always went its own way because it thinks it is smarter than everyone else and again wound up in a lot of trouble. We can't bail you out this time Europe, you're on your own here.

    by: margot100 from: denver
    February 07, 2016 12:50 PM
    The problem with Muslim is that each and every one of them read the same devils book call' Quran. This brain washing is there demise. They are told to kill a non believer and it gives them the right to passage to heaven where 70 ( must be ugly ) woman wait for them. I wonder weather they still wear the head scarf. P.S. read a book the caravans from James Michener and you know.

    by: PermReader
    February 07, 2016 6:39 AM
    Once after WW1, liberals of the world supported communists with idiotic enthusiasm.The result was: Fascism in Spain and Italy,nazism in Germany. The History repeats : the same liberals happily support Islam guests,including the Islamofasciest precursor.

    by: lone eagle from: Bangkok, Thailand
    February 07, 2016 4:37 AM
    Pegida may well be the tip of the iceberg if what was told to me this afternoon by a Swedish tourist in front of a shopping center here in Bangkok.

    This Swede has three adult daughters in Sweden, one of whom is a police officer.

    His middle daughter, the police officer carries her weapon while off duty, while his two other daughters have no protection and are fearful of their lives in Sweden because a Swedish woman was stabbed to death about two weeks ago at her workplace by a Muslim immigrant.

    Before our conversation about Muslim immigrants he was very mild, but once the conversation began about Muslim immigrants into Sweden he lost his composure saying the Swedish PM had no brains.




    by: James
    February 06, 2016 11:50 PM
    It's really true that the migrants refuse to integrate into the culture of the west. Now there's a difference between the refugees from Syria and the economic migrants from north Africa, but nobody wants to bring a little nuance into the conversation and discuss the real issue. Simply look at the UK with their thousands of Islamic immigrants and you see the history of non-integration. They live in their own communities with their own religious school where they indoctrinate their children with teachings of hating the west and the country that they live in. If you look at the history of terrorist attacks in the UK you'll see that they come majority from a single city. People need to see the reality of the situation and we as a community of nations need to make real changes to our immigration policy and not do like Germany which allowed 1.5 million immigrants because their feelings of guilt from the holocaust.

    by: Kaitlynn Katt from: USA
    February 06, 2016 11:10 PM
    Islam does not play well with others...Islam runs with scissors...
    People have woken up to the fact that, their way of life is not going to survive if they keep allowing more refugees from Muslim countries.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora