German born Lutz Bachmann is the founder of the European far right movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident).
Bachmann envisioned Pegida as a nationalist movement with a focus both on protesting against immigration in Germany and opposing Islam. (Officially the opposition was intended to be against ‘Islamic extremism’ but over time it became apparent that Bachmann’s real interest was in spreading hate against Islam.)
Anti hate organisation Hope not Hate have documented Bachmann’s criminal background which includes convictions for drug dealing and burglary.
In 2015 a tasteless picture of Bachmann posing as Adolf Hitler made the rounds on social media. Initially Bachmann stepped down from his position in Pegida but a few weeks later he decided the picture was a forgery and took up his role with the organisation again.
Bachmann attempted to spread his brand to the UK by establishing Pegida UK with notorious right wing extremist Tommy Robinson. Robinson had left the English Defence League and was Bachmann’s choice to lead Pegida UK. The UK leadership team consisted of Robinson, Paul Weston (formerly of far right group Liberty GB) and Anne Marie Waters, the director of anti Islam group Sharia Watch. The leadership passed from Robinson to Weston soon after Pegida UK was formed.
Pegida were given the descriptor ‘Nazis in pinstripes’ by the German press when the weekly rallys held by the hate group started to attract a concerning number of attendees. The success of Pegida was short lived however and the numbers have fallen to a fraction of the original supporters
May 2016 Bachmann was fined for inciting racial hatred on social media due to a post where he made reference to immigrants as “cattle,” “brutes” and “trash.”
In March 2018 Bachmann was barred from entering the UK when the Home Office confirmed: “Border Force has the power to refuse entry to an individual if it is considered that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.” Bachmann had been planning to speak at Speakers Corner in London to deliver a speech written by Martin Sellner of Generation Identity who was unable to deliver it himself as he had also been banned from entering the UK. The speech ended up being given by Tommy Robinson.
Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of many of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK