Europe

Several thousand in Germany mark PEGIDA's 2nd anniversary

  • Several thousands of  right-wing Pegida supporters demonstrate on theatre square in Dresden, Germany, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016.  PEGIDA  stands for (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West).  (Oliver Killig/dpa via AP)

    Several thousands of right-wing Pegida supporters demonstrate on theatre square in Dresden, Germany, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016. PEGIDA stands for (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West). (Oliver Killig/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Several thousands of  right-wing Pegida supporters demonstrate on theatre square in Dresden, Germany, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016.    PEGIDA stands for  Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West.  (Oliver Killig/dpa via AP)

    Several thousands of right-wing Pegida supporters demonstrate on theatre square in Dresden, Germany, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016. PEGIDA stands for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West. (Oliver Killig/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Several thousand people have turned out for a demonstration in the eastern German city of Dresden marking the second anniversary of the anti-Islam and anti-immigration group PEGIDA.

Police brought in reinforcements from other German states to prevent trouble at the PEGIDA event Sunday and at smaller counter-protests. They reported no significant incidents, news agency dpa reported.

Speakers assailed the approach of Chancellor Angela Merkel's government to the migrant crisis, to chants of "Merkel must go."

PEGIDA, a German-language acronym for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, has staged weekly protests in Dresden since 2014. Attendance peaked at around 25,000 early last year. Durchgezaehlt, a local group that estimates turnout, put Sunday's attendance at between 6,500 and 8,500.

PEGIDA spawned similar though less successful groups elsewhere in Germany.