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The 2nd annual march of the the PEGIDA UK movement drew hundreds of anti-Islamisation protesters on April 2.
Birmingham, United Kingdom – Hundreds of "anti-Islamisation" protesters descended on Birmingham today for the second march of the PEGIDA UK movement, fashioned on the German marches that have attracted up to 18,000 people to the streets of Dresden.
Organiser Tommy Robinson appeared alongside anti-Sharia campaigner Anne Marie Waters amongst others. But the real star of today's proceedings was Lutz Bachmann, the founder of the global PEGIDA movement, which now has branches in 27 countries.
The march began at Birmingham International Airport's train station, where the crowd amassed under banners opposing mass migration into Europe, as well as flags from a number of different countries, include Israel and the Czech Republic. The LGBT "rainbow' flag also flew.
But what was noticeable about the event today was that the police had cordoned off a part of Birmingham in order to keep the demonstration out of sight of any members of the public. The marchers took their peaceful, silent walk up a closed dual carriageway road, assembling to hear speeches in a business park that was empty for the weekend.
PEGIDA UK founder Tommy Robinson speaks to the crowd.
"They've marched us in the middle of nowhere," said Mr. Robinson, before moving on to speak about how his political activities had for years warned about Muslim grooming gangs. He noted that while there were only a few hundreds in attendance today, the movement was going to shift in order to attract mass appeal over the coming weeks and months, announcing that the next rally would be "through a town centre." That town centre is going to be Rotherham – where at least 1,400 predominantly white girls were groomed, abused, or raped by gangs of Muslim men.
"We expect the British police to uphold our rights and defend our rights to peacefully walk through a city centre," Mr. Robinson demanded, "So the next city we're going to march through, in silence, in contempt, and in disgust at what is happening, is Rotherham."
Ms. Waters, who lost her position on the UK Independence Party (UKIP) London Assembly election list due to her involvement with PEGIDA, walked the crowd through why women should be extra vigilant at this time of mass migration – particularly because Europe's new Muslims appear not to be willing to compromise on their misogynistic upbringings when moving here.
"We hear it all the time," she began, "they're coming from Syria, they're refugees. Quite frankly I don't care where they're coming from. I don't care if they're refugees, or asylum seekers or anything else. You don't get to come into our countries and assault us in the streets."
She added: "Germany will never be the same again... let's have a look at the countries these men are coming from... Somalia is quite high on the list. In Somalia, 97 per cent of girls have their genitals butchered by their own families... North Africa... Egypt for example... 99 per cent of women are sexually harassed in their life times. What do we expect to happen [in Europe]?"
Turnout was lower than organisers had hoped.
Mr. Bachmann drew cheers from the audience as he discussed Germany's migrant crisis and how the political establishment was giving away European culture and identity with its political correctness and importation of cheap, migrant labour. He said: "We have to move our asses, it is necessary. What the politicians are doing right now... is just crazy, it's mad. It's going to be the end of our European culture if we don't move. The politicians are putting us into a European people's war... and it's going to be a religious war... if we don't stand now for our values, for our culture, and for our children."
"They don't respect our culture," he added, speaking of the millions of migrants who have come to Europe in the past few years. "Most of them are Muslims and there is an Islamisation going on across the whole of Europe. Everybody can see it, and everybody can feel it."
The event was attended by a diverse group of people, though predominantly white and workingclass, a smattering of former Muslims, Hindus, gay rights campaigners, and women – some of which had babes in arms or prams.
The takeaway from the event was: this is a peaceful protest by normal individuals from across the United Kingdom – not the "fascist" or "racist" types that they are often portrayed as across the media.
Attendees spoke to Breitbart London, lamenting the fact that PEGIDA UK was not advertising its events well enough, and with many stating that they had now given up on the UK Independence Party and were looking for something new to follow and support.
One attendee told Breitbart London: "We left UKIP. It's time for something new," while another said: "After the [EU] referendum [on Great Britain leaving the European Union], UKIP needs to start talking about these [Islamist] issues, or become irrelevant."
Raheem Kassam is a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum and editor-in-chief of Breitbart London.