Hundreds of protesters organized by PEGIDA came together to oppose Chancellor Angela Merkel & her immigration policies as German leaders gathered in the eastern city of Dresden on Monday to celebrate the anniversary of the country’s reunification 26 years ago.
The protesters shouted “Merkel must go!” and “traitor!,” as the chancellor left the city’s Frauenkirche church after a morning ecumenical service.
More protests are planned for this Monday.
Dresden, the state capital of Saxony, is home to the anti-Islam group Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West. Known by its German acronym PEGIDA, the group has become a magnet for far-right and anti-immigrant sentiment.
The area surrounding Dresden has seen popular resistance against migrants and refugees since the influx began, with riots and arson attacks taking place in other towns in the state of Saxony.
Security has been tightened for the three days of events marking 26 years since German reunification, specifically after unknown perpetrators set fire to three police cars in Dresden on Saturday night.