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THE REBEL: Why this first-time protester marched with PEGIDA in Birmingham

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The following is an excerpt of a piece published at The Rebel. You can read the entire article here.

On the 6th February, 15 countries across Europe and beyond demonstrated simultaneously against the mass influx of radical Muslims from the Middle East and Africa. Under the umbrella group Fortress Europe, announced only in recent weeks, patriots from across Europe, and even in Australia, gathered to protest.

Fortress Europe came about as a result of Tommy Robinson, a counter jihad political activist here in the UK, working with leaders of PEGIDA across Europe to form an international network. PEGIDA, a German acronym for ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West’, was formed in Dresden, Germany, in 2014 as a response to the migrant crisis.

On the 4th January, Mr Robinson joined forces with secularist and chairwoman of Sharia Watch, Anne Marie Waters, and chairman of the political party Liberty GB, Paul Weston at a press conference near Luton.

Watch: Robinson, Waters and Weston announced as leadership team.

The February 6th demo was the first unified Pan-European demonstration. Here in the UK 400 people marched silently and peacefully despite heavy rain and gale force winds. 5,000 gathered in Dresden, 1,500 met in Prague, and thousands of others met throughout the continent and Australia.

Families, Britons, immigrants, conservatives, liberals and people of all ages marched silently through the pouring rain in Birmingham, England, dispelling the assertions from the press that the group is ‘far right’ and violent. The only arrest made in the United Kingdom was a 39-year-old ‘anti-fascist’ counter protester from East London.

Being inside the protest was bizarre. Despite having stood for election, managed campaigns and handled press communications, I had never until Saturday actually attended a large protest. In years gone by, as a working class person who has seen the destruction of our communities by forced multiculturalist policy and social engineering, I had been tempted. However, the violence that has always erupted as a result of communist and far left activists had always put me off.

Nothing of the sorts was seen or heard at the PEGIDA UK demonstration.

The police did a fine job keeping away violent communists, and by marching through an isolated part of the city, PEGIDA made a point without disrupting local businesses or appearing confrontational.

We walked from Birmingham International Railway Station towards an isolated industrial park, in truly British weather. Soaked to the bone, I walked at the front of the protest with PEGIDA’s three leaders, holding a banner (which I had in fact designed) that stated ‘Protect Freedom. Reject Hate’. This not only sums up PEGIDA’s message, but the atmosphere on the day. Every single person in attendance was thoroughly polite, friendly and a joy to spend time with.

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Tommy Robinson, Mohammed Fiaz, Anne Marie Waters, Paul Weston and Jack Buckby

PEGIDA even managed to attract people who had never had any political involvement in their lives, and who had never attended any protests. Given that counter jihad demonstration of the past often ended in violence and mass conflict, this really was quite an achievement, and a sign that the silent march strategy works. PEGIDA is showing Britain and the world that opposing the fascism, authoritarianism, rape, murder and terror that comes with radical and political Islam is neither racist or bigoted. We are the civilised people of Europe and we will not just stand by.

The 400-strong crowd soon arrived at an empty industrial park to hear the final speeches. We were met by a stage and the sound of the official PEGIDA single – a track which recently overtook Adele on the Amazon music charts.

Read the rest of the article here and follow Jack Buckby on Twitter here.