German rightists scale Brandenburg Gate to protest immigration

August 27, 2016 9:44 AM EDT

A German police officer searches the pockets of a member of far right Identitarian movement (Identitaere Bewegung) after the activists staged a demonstration on top of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany August 27, 2016. REUTERS/Stefanie Loos

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Members of the far-right Identitarian Movement scaled Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on Saturday and unfurled a banner to protest against the "Islamisation" of Germany via mass immigration.

More than a million people, many of them Muslims, flocked to Germany last year from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere. The IAB German labor office research institute says around 16,000 are still arriving per month.

Around 15 protesters spent about 50 minutes on top of the Brandenburg Gate, a short walk from the German parliament, before coming down, a spokesman for Berlin's police force said.

They hung a banner calling for "secure borders - secure future" from the structure and waved flags bearing the Identitarian Movement's black and yellow logo.

Flyers from the movement said Germans were "becoming a minority" due to immigration and urged people to take action against "Islamisation".

A poll this month showed just over half of Germans thought Chancellor Angela Merkel's migrant policy was bad.

Support for anti-immigrant groups has risen and the right-wing Alternative for Germany is expected to do well in regional elections in Berlin and the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in September.

The Identitarian Movement is being monitored by the Germany's domestic intelligence agency. A spokesman for the agency said this month there were indications the group's activities went "against the free democratic order".

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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