July 22, 2017 3:08 pm
Updated: July 23, 2017 8:46 am

Sparks fly at London City Hall as protesters clash during anti-Islam rally

PEGIDA began their protest around Victoria Park, starting at London City Hall.

Christian D'Avino / AM980
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UPDATE:  David Heap, a member of People for Peace London, spoke with AM980. He explains what People for Peace is about.

“We are pro human rights, pro peace, and we will always come out to oppose those who stand in the way of freedom,” he said.

Heap adds that the presence of those involved with People for Peace London was much greater, and that members of PEGIDA are only a small portion of what London actually represents.

 

ORIGINAL: Human Rights and anti-Islamic groups clashed Saturday in front of London City Hall and Victoria Park.

At around 11 a.m. Saturday, AM980 received reports that the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) were rallying in front of city hall, with counter-protesters arriving soon afterwards.

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“These guys (PEGIDA) claim not to be racist — they watch what they say a little more than others, but it’s a façade — they just prey upon the confusion surrounding Islam, and try to drive a wedge further between the West and Muslims,” said protester of People for Peace London, Anthony Verberckmoes.

The two groups squared off for about an hour, until PEGIDA took their protest around Victoria Park to further spread their message.

 

The group was formed in Germany, and has members stretched across the western world. According to PEGIDA, the group combats issues surrounding Islam, including terrorism, radicalization, and the Islamization of the west.

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: Omar Khadr should be charged with treason, not given $10.5 million

AM980 spoke with Jenny Hill, a volunteer at PEGIDA. She tells AM980 what they centred their protest around on Saturday.

“Today, we were protesting the payout of Omar Khadr, in addition to hate preaching Imams in Canada, which are much more prevalent than people even know, especially in London,” she said.

Hill says she is very concerned with the decision to pay out Khadr.

“I think it was a poor decision, one that will be the final nail in the coffin for Justin Trudeau. I like the response of Andrew Sheer, and I hope he can halt the Islamization process that the Trudeau Liberals have started,” she said.

READ MORE: Conservative leader Andrew Scheer continues to take aim at Liberals over Omar Khadr payout

Hill says that PEGIDA more than welcomes counter-protesters, and hopes to further discuss issues surrounding their concerns with Islam. She adds that her efforts to reach out to MPs to discuss their concerns were in vain, as no responses were given.

While the protests were heated, nobody was hurt, with both sides stepping away peacefully.

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