Edinburgh Pegida march had only ‘four participants’

JUST four people turned up for the first Scottish demonstration of a group which campaigns against what it calls the “Islamisation of Europe”.

Police prepare to leave after only four people turned up for the march. Picture: Toby Williams

Pegida, which was formed in Germany last year, had hoped that between 80 and 100 people would attend the demo outside the Scottish Parliament yesterday.

But Police Scotland said the actual number attending had been far smaller. About 200 people attended a counter demonstration against the group.

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Pegida Scotland had invited “all patriot groups” to the event using its Facebook page after 400 members of Pegida UK attended a rally in Newcastle last month.

Members of the public protesting against the Pagida march gathered at the Scottish Parliament. Picture: Toby Williams

The anti-immigration group, whose full name translates as Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, was formed in Dresden and claims to be non-violent and non-racist. However, it has attracted support from elements of the far right. German chancellor Angela Merkel has accused the group’s members of having “prejudice, coldness, even hatred in their hearts”.

Police initially said the Edinburgh event had been cancelled due to a low turnout, but later said the demonstration had gone ahead with four participants.

Chief Superintendent Mark Williams said: “A significant police presence was put in place to facilitate today’s demonstrations and I’d like to thank the public for remaining patient.

“I would also like to thank those who took part for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner.”