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Right-wing Dutch politician speaks at anti-Islam rally in Dresden.

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By Euronews  with REUTERS
Right-wing Dutch politician speaks at anti-Islam rally in Dresden.

<p>Right wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders spoke at a meeting in Dresden of the anti-Islam <span class="caps">PEGIDA</span> movement on Monday. </p> <p>The crowd fell far short of the 30,000 the organisers had hoped for, with police estimating it at around 10,000. </p> <p>Wilders was invited by <span class="caps">PEGIDA</span> leader Lutz Bachman, a move seen by some as an attempt to boost its fading influence after a series of protests across Germany and Europe. </p> <p>“You are here together with me because we are <span class="caps">PEGIDA</span>. Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West”, Wilders told his audience. “We are the people. In my eyes you are heroes.”</p> <p>Wilders offered to take German Chancellor Angela Merkel back to the Netherlands with him, drawing chants of ‘Merkel must go’ from the crowd, which was mostly made of middle-aged white men. </p> <p>A counter demonstration was also held in Dresden, which German media said was made up of around three thousand people.</p> <p><span class="caps">PEGIDA</span>’s momentum started to fade rapidly after co-founder Lutz Bachman posed on Facebook with a Hitler moustache that he tried to laugh off as a joke.</p>