Authorities in the Saxonian city of Dresden have issued a blanket ban on marches, demonstrations and outdoor assemblies following alleged islamist death threats against the founder of the “Pegida” (“Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident”) movement, who has masterminded the mass demonstrations in Dresden for the last three months. This is a highly unusual development by German standards, and political reactions from the very left to the very right have been predictably negative (for very different reasons). More specifically, the issue will help to further strengthen the ties between Pegida and the (eastern sections) of the AfD.
Meanwhile, social scientists are slowly trying to get a grip on Pegida. One of Germany’s leading scholars on social movement and protest mobilisation even dares to make a prediction: Dieter Rucht thinks that Pegida is past the zenith of thPhoto by Polybert49 e attention cycle, highlighting interesting parallels to the Occupy movement. Another interesting point (not discussed in the linked article) is that even after three months of mass mobilisation, Pegida has not managed to become a national movement. By and large, it is still very much focused on Dresden, which has been a hotspot of right-wing mobilisation for the last 25 years. And by the way, the beautiful building in the picture is a former cigarette factory built in the oriental style that was popular in Dresden a hundred years ago or so. Go figure.