Lutz Bachmann, founder of anti-Muslim movement Pegida and a convicted racist, will join Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) at a rally in Hyde Park, London this Sunday
A few days ago Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) announced he would descend on Speakers Corner in Hyde Park this Sunday to read a speech written by Martin Sellner, the de facto leader of the far-right Generation Identity (GI), who was refused entry into the UK last Friday.
It has now emerged that Lennon is to be joined by convicted drug dealer and burglar Lutz Bachmann of the German anti-Muslim street movement Pegida. Bachman, who founded Pegida in 2014, is an extreme figure with a long history of criminal convictions and racist outbursts.
Amongst numerous convictions, in November 2016 Bachmann was fined 9,600 euros after being convicted of inciting racial hatred. In a 2015 Facebook post Bachmann referred to refugees as “cattle”, “garbage” and a “dirty bunch”.
Today it has emerged that police are again investigating Bachmann over a tweet in which he wrongly identified an “ex-refugee” as the murderer of a teen girl in Berlin. In a now-deleted tweet he posted pictures and links to the Facebook of a man he described as a “beast from the Caucasus” who he said was “probably” the killer.
Bachman and Lennon have long been allies with Lennon attending numerous Pegida events in Dresden, including addressing 20,000 people at their first anniversary demonstration in October 2015. Lennon later attempted to launch Pegida UK but his efforts amounted to nothing.
In the wake of the government’s decision to refuse entry to Lauren Southern, Brittany Pettibone and Martin Sellner last week, Bachmann – with his extreme history – could also be turned away.
Pegida: A Short History
The anti-Muslim street movement Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes (Pegida) was born in October 2014 in Dresden, Saxony, and since its formation the fortunes of the organisation have ebbed and flowed.
Pegida has rallied almost every Monday evening in Dresden since its inception. Starting with 300 people, the demonstrations quickly became several thousand. The largest, held on 12 January 2015 – a few days after the Charlie Hebdo attack – attracted 25,000 people.
Pegida-style demonstrations have spread to 30 other towns and cities across the country but most attracted derisory numbers, Leipzig and Munich being notable exceptions.
In the summer of 2015 Pegida was thrown into crisis when an image of Lutz Bachmann, the face of Pegida, posing as Hitler went viral. This nearly spelt the end of the movement with demonstrations shrinking back to just a few hundred.
However, the advent of the Migrant Crisis and the influx of Muslim refugees from Syria in the summer of 2015 gave Pegida a much-needed boost, with attendances at demonstrations shooting back up and peaking at almost 20,000.
Pegida targets Muslims, refugees, the media (branded the “Lügenpresse” by Pegida) and of course so-called establishment politicians. Among those who have addressed its rallies are: Geert Wilders, Götz Kubitschek (New-Right), Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) and author Akif Pirincci. All of them are calling on their followers to resist the “invaders” for the sake of the West.
In October 2017 Pegida’s third anniversary demonstration had in attendance an estimated 3,000 supporters with speakers including Bachmann, Martin Sellner of Generation Identity, and various Alternative fur Deutschland MPs.
Dr Joe Mulhall is Senior Researcher at HOPE not hate. Formerly he was a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London where he also completed his PhD on the postwar far right. He has published extensively on the international far right and discussed his research on the BBC, CNN and Channel 4 news among others. If you have a tip, get in touch at [email protected]Twitter