One will look at this assessment very carefully in Berlin. For weeks, the “lateral thinking” movement has mobilized from critics of the political pandemic, conspiracy theorists and coronavirus deniers to the “Mega Adventist Demonstration” in the Hanseatic city of Bremen. Up to 20,000 attendees have registered with the police for the event on Saturday – too much for a German court given the expected hygiene violations.
After the Bremen municipal public order office initially issued the ban, the Federal Constitutional Court reaffirmed the ban on demonstrations for any Saturday “lateral thinking” meeting in Bremen under urgent procedure.
The Karlsruhe judges follow the High Administrative Court in charge, which previously declared the ban on suspicion of violating pandemic requirements and possible harm to the public due to the estimated high number of participants.
In the summer, Karlsruhe has rejected urgent pleas for a permanent “on guard” by corona deniers and skeptics in Berlin’s government district. Germany’s highest court ruling is now the first to refer to a demonstration called “lateral thinkers”.
It also raises hopes in Berlin that legal action can be taken against planned demonstrations of this kind. The main focus is on the massive demonstrations planned for New Year’s Eve in Berlin, where there will be protests on Strasse des 17. June.
Senator for Interior: We’ll take a closer look
“We are looking at the planned New Year’s demonstration with great concern because there is a risk of new infections here,” spokesman for Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) told Tagesspiegel on Sunday. “After the experiences in Berlin and Leipzig, we have to assume that infection protection rules will be consciously broken again.”
The Senate has not been able to make a final statement on the decision in Bremen, because the Federal Constitutional Court is not yet available to do so. “But we will read it very carefully.”
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Benedikt Lux, interior expert for the Green Party, told Tagesspiegel of the ruling: “In my opinion, this could be the basis for imposing or even banning demonstrations of lateral thinkers on New Year’s Eve in Berlin. I call on the Berlin authorities responsible to take all necessary measures to comply with protection against infection. “
Criticism of the prohibition of spontaneous demonstrations
In the past, various cities have tried to prohibit demonstrations of the movement on the grounds of infection protection or to impose strict conditions on them. A ban on massive demonstrations by skeptics of the measure, announced on Aug. 29, is drawing a lot of attention.
The order was finally overturned by the High Administrative Court the day before the planned massive demonstration. At that time, critics accused Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) that the ban on demonstrations, which were later reinstated, was also due to political motivations and not only for reasons of infection protection.
Minister Geisel: The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is watching
Meanwhile, Geisel did not rule out the observation of the “lateral thinking” movement under the protection of the constitution. “We are clearly observing extremist and anti-Semitic tendencies. That is why constitutional protection must be considered carefully, ”said Geisel from the German press office. A final assessment of the question has not yet been carried out in Berlin.
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According to Geisel, the real challenge in this area is differentiation: who are extremists, who are anti-Semites, and who are based on the constitution? “There are connections in the movement to right-wing extremist parties and people in sight. That’s very, very clear. “The Constitutional Protection Office must explain whether society is dealing with a new phenomenon of extremism.
Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) also warned of attacks on democracy from the “lateral thinker” scene. “We as a country must be vigilant when democracy is attacked. Or when our democratic organs are under threat, as they did recently, when troublemakers enter the Bundestag and try to prevent MPs from doing their job, ”Giffey told the Funke media group newspaper. Correction: In several places in the article, there is discussion about the decision of the Constitutional Court. But that’s a decision. We correct these errors.