Coronavirus opponents no case for the protection of the constitution – SWR news


Should the protection of the constitution deal with the “lateral thinking” movement? According to a newspaper report, it is currently not enough to be classified as an observation object. Opposition politicians are concerned.

According to a report, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution will not put the “lateral thinking” movement under observation for the time being. “At the moment it is not enough for a classification as an observation object”, quoted the editorial network Germany (RND) on Sunday from security circles after a meeting of the constitution protection authorities of the federal and state levels. Accordingly, the “lateral thinkers” nationwide are similar to the Reich citizens: “Not the whole movement is extremist.” That does not rule out that right-wing extremists in individual federal states exert a decisive influence on the “lateral thinkers”.

Compare with Reich Citizens Movement

According to the research network of “Süddeutscher Zeitung”, NDR and WDR, the protection of the constitution from the federal and state governments see the “lateral thinkers” movement as a new type of extremism. According to an analysis of the protection of the constitution, from which the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” quoted, one has to do with ordinary citizens and with “classic right-wing extremists” on the one hand, but also with “extremism that does not fall under the phenomena common in the constitutional protection association” on the other. .

The movement, which is critical of the measures to contain the coronavirus, originated in Baden-Württemberg and met for the first time in Stuttgart in mid-April to demonstrate. Since then, the movement has formed in many German cities and repeatedly called for protests. Supporters of the movement recently drew comparisons to the Nazi era, for example in Karlsruhe or Lörrach.

At first there were only a few participants who demonstrated in Stuttgart against the political measures taken against the spread of the corona virus. It quickly became more and more. Why does the movement have its roots in Baden-Württemberg? An attempt at an explanation.

Opposition politicians pointed out the dangers of the “lateral thinking” movement on Sunday. In the past six months, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution has “dangerously ignored their potential for violence,” said the left-wing interior expert Martina Renner of the AFP news agency. At the same time, she criticized the debate about a possible observation of the movement by the protection of the constitution: “On the left, we can happily do without the expertise of the protection of the constitution.” An effective rejection of a “premodern, anti-Semitic and right-wing declaration of the world” could “only be successful if it is supported by civil society,” said Renner. The call for institutions such as the Office for the Protection of the Constitution “will not stop the authoritarian legal development,” she warned.

Opposition politicians in the Bundestag speak out

FDP parliamentary group deputy Stephan Thomae called on the security authorities to be vigilant against the “lateral thinkers”. “Too often, such movements have been underestimated in their early days,” said the interior expert. Green parliamentary group deputy Konstantin von Notz described it as “good that the security authorities are increasingly focusing on this movement and are not underestimating the danger it poses to the free-democratic basic order”. The assessment of whether the “lateral thinkers” as a whole or individual protagonists are made the object of observation, however, is “not up to politics, but solely to the security authorities,” said von Notz.

Meanwhile, the Hessian Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) called for the corona protests not to be condemned across the board. “We have to take the Corona demonstrators and their concerns seriously,” said the deputy CDU chairman in the newspapers of the “Funke Mediengruppe”. At the same time, those “who are on the move by force, want to destroy the state or run around with the imperial war flag” are to be judged differently. That is why it serves prevention if the protection of the Constitution takes a closer look at the movement.

Michael Ballweg in an interview with SWR on September 1st in Berlin (Photo: SWR)

In an interview with the SWR, the founder of the initiative “lateral thinking-711” justifies the withdrawal from Berlin to Stuttgart and distances himself from right-wing influence. He has an explanation for the multitude of waved imperial flags at the demonstration last weekend.

Kretschmann sees signs of right infiltration

Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) had already warned almost two weeks ago of the increasing radicalization of the “lateral thinking” movement. There are signs that the movement is being infiltrated more and more by right-wing extremist forces, said the Green politician in mid-November. It is worrying that there are more and more links to right-wing extremism and right-wing radicalism. Even if they rejected the corona rules, the demonstrators would have to adhere to the rules. This is part of the essence of obedience to the law, continues Kretschmann.

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