“We are very persistent,” says Pegida leader, Edwin Wagensveld. He is determined to demonstrate at the Al-Fourqaan mosque in Eindhoven.
This despite Mayor John Jorritsma’s continued opposition. “We keep trying, even if I have to get there crawling.” Many of Pegida’s requested demonstrations were cancelled because the Mayor was afraid of ‘serious disorder’.
On Sunday, 26 May, things went wrong during a demonstration at the Al-Fourqaan mosque on Otter Street. Youngsters caused a disturbance, pelting the police and demonstrators.
Pegida announced in advance that they would have a pork barbeque in front of the mosque. The organisation claimed to have been demonstrating against Ramadan and the influence of Muslims in the Netherlands.
“We are not going to do that”
Pegida continues to request demonstrations. For example, the anti-Islamic movement wanted to demonstrate on 11, 12, and 13 June. But the Eindhoven Municipality did not allow it. According to the City Council, an agreement was reached for a demonstration on Wednesday, 19 June. It will, however, be at the town hall square and not the mosque, as Pegida would like.
“And we are not going to do that”, Wagensveld tells local media outlet, Omroep Brabant. “But we are going to request demonstrations again from 20 June. We are not thinking of stopping. We want to finish the 29 May protest.”
The Pegida frontman is also not being idle. On Saturday afternoon he decided to hand out flyers in Eindhoven with other Pegida supporters. Things quickly got out of hand. Youngsters attacked Wagensveld. The police brought him to safety.
“We had announced this action extensively. The police were also on scene and officers were waiting. They decide to intervene only went things went wrong. For example, a photographer was harassed,” Wagensveld explained.
Picked up internationally
Wagensveld already informed the police on Saturday afternoon that he will continue and will be back next week. “A video of the campaign is now being picked up internationally. There is increasing pressure on Mayor Jorritsma to allow a demonstration the way we want it. But we just keep going. We have time.”
Source: Omroep Brabant
Editor: Melinda Walraven