Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Stavanger to shout slogans at the extreme right group Pegida
The anti-racism protest, hosted by organizations Motmakt Stavanger, the Socialist Left Youth Party (SU), and the main Socialist Left Party (SV), Monday, started at 6:00 p.m. local time.
Police had erected barriers and cordoned off certain parts of main square Torget near the harbor to separate the hundreds of demonstrators from the 20 to 25 Pegida members. Officers had turned out in force for the demonstration, held in cold temperatures, with several of them patrolling the area with police dogs.
Protestors shouted slogans such as “Nazi pigs, Nazi pigs, get out of my town” and “no racists in our streets” at Pegida, booing them, and banging on the barricades as speeches were given and music heard.
The atmosphere grew tenser at approximately 6:30 p.m., with police assuming a line of defense position as the event progressed.
Parts of Pegida’s speeches, which covered subjects including the oppression of women in the Muslim culture, were almost drowned out by the hundreds of vociferous demonstrators gathered.
“Levels here at this protest are unusual for Stavanger,” a female police officer told The Foreigner, “it will be more interesting to see how things are when they disperse afterwards.”
Local Liberal Party (V) politician Per A. Thorbjørnsen commented that he found the fact that the demonstration was being held so far into the heart of the city “provoking in relation to what is being said about Muslims and the demonstrators’ goals.”
The protest ended peacefully at approximately 7:30 p.m.
It also appeared in the Feb. 27, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.