Despite rising data on recent outbreaks in Germany, demonstrations against the government’s anti-epidemic policies broke out in several cities over the weekend.
Police in the southwestern city of Stuttgart and the eastern city of Dresden put in a large number of police, helicopters, water cannons and so on to disperse people who persisted in the protests despite the ban, German media reported Wednesday. Many people at the scene did not wear masks and did not pay attention to maintaining a safe distance.
Previously, applications submitted by the organizers for demonstrations were rejected by the courts on the grounds that they posed a “specific and high risk of infection”.
Several administrative courts have recently issued bans on protests against “horizontal thinking” groups. The group, the most active group protesting the German government’s anti-epidemic policy, has gathered demonstrations in different cities almost every weekend, with supporters including neo-viral sceptics and opponents of the blockade.
In response, Germany’s federal justice minister called on the police to take tougher measures in “horizontal thinking” demonstrations, including timely stops and criminal prosecutions, saying there would be no tolerance and “red lines must be drawn” in the event of a crime or large-scale violation of the rules. “Horizontal thinking” participants have repeatedly threatened scientists and politicians, as well as violent attacks on journalists.