Americans Urged to 'Go Home' at Protest in Erfurt, Germany

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MAINZ, Germany – Demonstrators called for Americans to go home at a protest in the eastern Germany city of Erfurt on Saturday, police said.

A group calling itself PEGADA - short for ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Americanization of the Occident’ and also ENDGAME, which stands for ‘Engaged Democrats Against the Americanization of Europe’, called its protest a success on its social media platforms.

Some in the diverse crowd of up to 1,000 were carrying Russian and Israeli flags, while a small group chanted “love each other,” according to Erfurt police spokesman Dominique Schuh.

“This was not a homogenous group,” Schuh told NBC News. “There were people demonstrating for vegan lifestyle, some protested against war in Ukraine and others called for Americans to go home.”

On its Facebook page, PEGADA expresses its support for the violent right-wing group HoGeSa, or ‘Hooligans against Salafists’ that drew public attention last year when 5,000 extremists engaged in violent battles with police in Cologne last year.

Its name is similar to the anti-immigration, anti-Islam PEGIDA movement which attracted a crowd of 17,000 protesters in the eastern city of Dresden on Sunday.

- Andy Eckardt