Legida, short for “Leipzig gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes” is a German right-wing populist movement that emerged as an offshoot of the more prominent Pegida movement. Legida, which is centered in the eastern city of Leipzig, was established in early 2015 and has been organizing weekly demonstrations since then.
Like Pegida, Legida’s stated aim is to protest against what it sees as the Islamization of Germany and the perceived failure of the German government to address the issue of immigration. Legida’s organizers have accused the German government of not doing enough to protect the country’s Christian culture and have argued that the influx of Muslim immigrants is a threat to Germany’s social and economic stability.
The Legida movement gained notoriety in 2015, when it organized a series of large demonstrations in Leipzig, which were frequently met with counter-protests. The rallies were marked by clashes between Legida supporters and left-wing activists, with police often intervening to keep the two groups separated. Some of the rallies attracted several thousand people, although the number of participants has declined significantly in recent years.
Critics of Legida have accused the movement of promoting xenophobia and racism, and have argued that its leaders are trying to exploit public fears about immigration to advance their own political agenda. They have also accused Legida of being a magnet for far-right extremists and neo-Nazis, although the movement’s leaders have denied these claims.
Despite the controversy surrounding the Legida movement, it continues to organize weekly rallies in Leipzig. In recent years, however, the number of participants has declined significantly, and the movement has struggled to maintain its momentum. This is in part due to the success of counter-protests organized by left-wing groups, which have drawn large crowds and effectively marginalized the Legida movement.