Protest on New Year’s Eve: Berlin’s police chief wants to limit lateral thinking demonstration – Berlin


This decision will be looked at very closely in Berlin. For weeks the “lateral thinking” movement mobilized from critics of the political pandemic measures, conspiracy theorists and deniers of the coronavirus for the “Advent Mega Demonstration” in the Hanseatic city of Bremen. Up to 20,000 participants had been registered with the police for the event on Saturday – too many for the German judiciary in view of the hygiene violations to be expected.

After the public order office of the city of Bremen had initially issued a ban, the Federal Constitutional Court reaffirmed the ban on demonstrations for any “lateral thinking” meetings on Saturday in Bremen in an urgent procedure.

The Karlsruhe judges are following the responsible higher administrative court, which previously declared the ban with the expected violations of the pandemic requirements and a possible danger to the public due to the forecast high number of participants.

In the summer, Karlsruhe had already rejected an urgent application for a permanent “vigil” by Corona deniers and skeptics in Berlin’s government district. The decision of the highest German court is now the first to refer to a demonstration of the so-called “lateral thinkers”.

This also raises hopes in Berlin that legal action can be taken against planned demonstrations of this kind. The main focus is on the large-scale demonstration planned for New Year’s Eve in Berlin, at which there will be protests on Strasse des 17. Juni.

Senator for the Interior: We’ll look closely at that

“We are looking at the planned New Year’s demonstration with great concern because there is a renewed risk of infection here,” a spokesman for Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) told Tagesspiegel on Sunday. “After the experiences in Berlin or Leipzig, we have to assume that the infection protection rules will be consciously broken again.”

The Senate was not yet able to make a final statement on the decision in Bremen, as the grounds of the Federal Constitutional Court were not yet available to it. “But we will read this very carefully.”

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Benedikt Lux, interior expert for the Greens, told Tagesspiegel about the verdict: “In my opinion, this can be a basis for strictly imposing or even prohibiting the lateral thinker demonstration on New Year’s Eve in Berlin. I call on the responsible Berlin authorities to take all necessary measures to comply with the protection against infection. ”

Berlin’s police chief Barbara Slowik calls for the number of participants in a “lateral thinking” demo planned for New Year’s Eve to be limited. “Many fear that the demonstration registered on Strasse des 17. Juni could” in fact become a big New Year’s Eve party for lateral thinkers under the guise of a gathering, “the Berliner Morgenpost quoted Slowik. Also with a view to the confirmed ban on the demonstration in Bremen, there is a new basis for conditions.

Berlin’s spokesman for the police union is quoted in the report as saying that the demonstration is a cause for concern, also because the police cannot count on much support from other countries.

Criticism of spontaneous demo ban

In the past, various cities have tried to ban the demonstrations of the movement for reasons of infection protection or to impose strict conditions on them. The ban on a large-scale demonstration by the skeptics of measures, which was announced for August 29th, attracted a lot of attention.

The order was finally overturned by the Higher Administrative Court a day before the planned large demonstration. At the time, critics accused the Berlin Senator for the Interior, Andreas Geisel (SPD), that the demo ban, which was later collected again, was also due to political motivation and not just for reasons of infection protection.

Minister Geisel: The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is looking closely

Geisel meanwhile does not rule out an observation of the “lateral thinking” movement by the constitution protection. “We are clearly observing extremist and anti-Semitic tendencies. That is why the protection of the Constitution has to look very carefully, ”said Geisel of the German press agency. A final assessment of the question has not yet taken place in Berlin.

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According to Geisel, the real challenge with this topic is the distinction: who is an extremist, who is an anti-Semite, and who is on the basis of the Basic Law? “There are connections in the movement to right-wing extremist parties and people who have become visible. That is very, very clear. ”The Office for the Protection of the Constitution must clarify whether society is not dealing with a new phenomenon of extremism.

Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) also warned against attacks on democracy from the “lateral thinker” scene. “We as a state have to be vigilant when democracy is attacked. Or when our democratic organs are threatened, as recently, when troublemakers penetrated the Bundestag and tried to prevent members from doing their work, ”Giffey told the newspapers of the Funke media group. Correction: In several places in the article there was talk of a judgment of the Constitutional Court. But it is a decision. We corrected the mistake.

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