As anti-Islamic group Pegida prepare yet another protest against what they believe to be the rising influence of Islam on German soil, Germany has announced it will be quite literally leaving them in the dark.
In the past few weeks, some German cities have been haunted by protest groups demonstrating about the rising influence Islam has gained in German society. Nazis, racists and many other radical ideologists, known as the Pegida movement, gathered in Leipzig in the East and Cologne in the West of Germany in response to terror in Sydney and the rising number of Muslims and refugees seeking asylum in Germany. Internationally, people were appalled about this act of racism. And now Germany responds.
On Monday, Pegida is planning another protest in front of Cologne's world famous Cathedral which is lit beautifully every night to illuminate the UNESCO World Heritage site. In response to this plan, Norbert Feldhoff, Probst of the Cologne Cathedral, decided to turn off the lights of the 800 year old curch to express the rejection of Pegida's ideology and protests. True to the German theme, Turn your lights off to racism! - a Facebook event calling for the public to join in and turn their lights off between 6.30pm and 8.00pm on Monday - currently already has 20.000 people attending. The event is aiming for Pegida protesters to find a dark Cologne which pays no attention to their message.
The response follows the switching off of the Semperoper in Dresden just before Christmas where a protest by the Pegida movement resulted in nation-wide counter-protests. Over 20,000 people all over Germany are believed to have protested against the up to 17,500 Pegida protesters across the country.