Berlin Bans Demo Against the New Normal. In the Next 36 Hours Receives 5,000 New Demo Registrations for the Same Day

The follow up to he gigantic protest on August 1st

Machine translated from German

After the ban on demonstrations against the corona measures on Saturday , the Berlin police received more than 5,000 demo registrations for the same day by Friday morning. [That is the protest was to be held Saturday, but the ban was proclaimed on Wednesday.] That said a police spokeswoman. They wanted to make the work of the police more difficult or paralyzed, it was said on Friday at a specially convened press conference with police chief Barbara Slowik.

The day before, the Berlin police had already assumed that the number of registered demos, which was around 3,000 on Thursday afternoon, would continue to rise because corresponding calls were circulating on the Internet. The portal “t-online.de” had previously reported on it . It is completely unclear whether these events will actually take place or whether the main aim is to keep the authorities busy.

Police chief Slowik informed

The applicant for the original demonstration against the government’s corona policy, the “lateral thinking 711” initiative, is attempting to circumvent the ban imposed by the Senate. Late on Wednesday evening, the organizers called in a Telegram group to register numerous demos for Saturday. According to the report from “t-online.de” in the group, the initiative’s lawyer wrote that “1,000 meetings in Berlin should be registered”. The police have to check and modest every registration, said the lawyer. It doesn’t matter whether the applicant is there or not making it to Berlin himself.

Berlin’s police chief Barbara Slowik informed on Friday afternoon about the ban on gatherings and about measures taken by the police. 

Applicants take legal action against the ban

The Berlin assembly authority had banned the planned rally of 22,000 registered participants for reasons of infection protection. The authority also referred to experiences with a similar event on August 1st. Thousands of people had deliberately violated hygiene regulations and distance rules back then, contrary to a previously agreed hygiene concept.

If it was announced from the start that corona rules would not be observed, then that would be a risk to many people from the outset, said Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) on Thursday evening. This applies not only to the participants themselves. “The demonstrators go back, they take the local public transport home, they go to work, they go into the family. And everywhere with these contacts they endanger others,” said Müller.

The deputy Berlin state chairman of the police union (GdP), Stephan Kelm, sees extremist tendencies in the corona demos, as he said on Friday in the rbb. So it is called in the social media to target police officers. “You have to distance yourself from such things,” said Kelm.

Decision on Friday

The organizers of the anti-corona demonstration at the weekend are taking legal action against the ban. The spokesman for “Quer Think 711”, Michael Ballweg, said on Thursday on rbb’s Inforadio that they had presented a clean hygiene concept and were surprised by the ban. That is why an urgent application was submitted to the Berlin administrative court. In the court, the arguments of the assembly authority and those of the demo registrants are examined.

“On the one hand, we have the physical integrity, which the assembly authority sees as being endangered by the holding of the meeting, and on the other hand, the demonstrators have the right to exercise their freedom of assembly. That is what the chamber is currently doing, “said the spokesman for the Berlin administrative court.

According to his information, a decision on the urgent application of the organizers is not expected until Friday. In the event of a defeat, you can first appeal to the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg and then to the Federal Constitutional Court. Should the administrative court in Berlin overturn the ban, the assembly authority can also take action before the higher administrative court. However, it cannot legally take the step to Karlsruhe.

The Senate has also announced that it will also take action before the Higher Administrative Court if necessary. “We have now decided for the weekend to value the right to integrity from Article 2 of the Basic Law higher than freedom of expression in Article 8. The fact that the judges can come to a different verdict after such a weighing is part of our democracy”, said the interior senator Andreas Geisel of the “SZ” [sueddeutsche.de] .

Police are preparing for several scenarios

If the ban is confirmed, the police want to prevent demos and elevators from forming. “That would be a criminal offense,” said a spokesman on Thursday. According to the Federal Assembly Act, the organizer or leader of a prohibited assembly can be punished with a prison sentence of up to one year or with a fine. Attending a prohibited meeting is an administrative offense.

The Interior Senator announced that the police would take decisive action in the event of a gathering . Several thousand officials would enforce the demo ban. Calls have already appeared on the Internet to travel to the capital and protest despite the ban. In some cases, violence and political overthrow were called for under the motto “Storming Berlin”, Senator Geisel (SPD) says he is facing massive threats of violence. Berlin’s Deputy Prime Minister Ramona Pop (Greens) said hostage “full solidarity” in view of this. She said on Thursday: “We are looking worriedly at this weekend and call for prudence.” She hopes that there will be no escalation of violence, as announced by some on the Internet.

According to a spokesman, the Berlin police are preparing for several scenarios – both for the ban to be overturned and for critics of the corona policy to gather despite the existing ban. Police officers unloaded numerous barriers on the streets in the government district near the Reichstag building and the Federal Chancellery on Thursday. As early as spring and early summer, the security forces tried to use extensive barriers to prevent forbidden demonstrations or excessive crowds in individual squares. She hadn’t always succeeded.

Source: RBB 24

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