Factbox: Pegida and AfD
Pegida (Dresden) and its local branches Legida (Leipzig), Bärgida (Berlin) and other "gida" groups are not political parties but rather populist movements. The name is an acronym from the German words "Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes" (European patriots protecting the West from Islamisation). Since October 2014, they have been organising regular demonstrations on Mondays which they call "evening walks".
The political party "Alternative für Deutschland" (AfD, Alternative for Germany) is closely associated with this populist movement, as the party is also considered to be Euro-sceptic and takes a strong stance against migration. In addition, AfD politicians are often present at Pegida events.
Their political strength was indicated by the March 2016 regional elections in three German regions (Bundesländer), where the AfD came second in one region and increased its share of the vote in all of them.
The AfD is also hostile to journalists, and has expelled from its meetings Andrea Roepke, a critical reporter who has covered right-wing affairs for many years. The party’s latest move is to open talks about co-operation with the French Front National, led by Marine LePen.
However, many supporters of Pegida and its branches prefer direct democracy and are critical towards all "established party elites" – which also includes the AfD.