This post originally appeared on VICE Alps.
PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Continent, is a far-right organization founded in Dresden in late 2014. Initially it seemed like the group would stay put in Germany—the federal state of Saxony has become synonymous with the rise of the new far-right in the country. But it soon became obvious that, like any other form of bigotry, Islamophobia also spreads.
Last night, PEGIDA officially arrived in Austria, holding their first-ever march in the old town center of Vienna. Two Facebook groups, "PEGIDA Austria" and "PEGIDA Vienna," joined forces to mobilize a right-wing crowd for a "promenade," as they called it. About 300 PEGIDA sympathizers turned up.
Among them were various far-right protesters as well as some dedicated neo-Nazis. A group of masked protesters we talked to flashed us with a Nazi salute, accompanied with a round of "Heil Hitlers" (both are illegal in Austria, FYI). The same group eventually threatened the VICE Alps production team, as well as various other local journalists, saying, "I'd happily go to jail for kicking your ass." All in all, Vienna was not all about the good vibes last night.