Thousands march across Europe in anti-Islam Pegida rallies

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DRESDEN, Germany: A march by Germany’s anti-Islamic organization Pegida drew thousands to the eastern city of Dresden on Saturday with rallies in support of the movement also held in a string of other European cities. In Prague, around 5,000 people turned out for a Pegida-inspired march organized by two far-right groups, while in Amsterdam mounted police charged pro- and anti-Pegida groups and arrested at least a dozen people. Another rally in the northern French port of Calais, home to the infamous “Jungle” refugee camp for migrants seeking passage across the Channel to Britain, brought about 20 arrests, local authorities said. The Pegida group had called for the Saturday rallies, urging supporters to march under the anti-migrant banner of “Fortress Europe.” The group began as a movement in Germany in mid-2014 and has spread to other countries as Europe grapples with its worst refugee crisis since World War II.

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