Saturday 21 November 2020
When thousands of “lateral thinkers” illegally roamed Leipzig two weeks ago, the police had little to counter them. Today only 250 participants want to protest against the corona measures in the city. This time the police announce tougher action.
Two weeks after the sometimes chaotic “lateral thinking” demo, Leipzig is again facing numerous rallies on Saturday. According to the city, opponents of the corona policy have registered a meeting with 250 participants. Against this there is loud protest: the action network “Leipzig takes place” alone is calling for three rallies in central squares of the city. According to their own statements, the police will be deployed with a large number.
Opponents of corona requirements and counter-demonstrators are also mobilizing in numerous other German cities for Saturday. According to the assessment of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Leipzig, mobilization is taking place in both right-wing extremist and left-wing extremist camps. Two weeks ago, a major “lateral thinking” demo got out of hand at times. At least 20,000 people from all over Germany came to Leipzig to protest against the corona restrictions. Hardly anyone adhered to the mask requirement. There were scuffles and pyrotechnics flew when the crowd tried to force a walk across the Leipziger Ring. In the end, the police let people pull them, although elevators are currently not allowed due to the corona pandemic. Critics accused the Saxon police of surrendering to some right-wing extremist demonstrators, some spoke of “state failure”.
The city and the police have now announced that they will consistently punish any violations of the Corona rules. A total of eight meetings were announced on Saturday. Currently only a maximum of 1000 participants are allowed per rally. The police put their main focus on separating “peaceful and unpeaceful participants” in the various gatherings. It receives support from emergency services from Baden-Württemberg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Bremen, Brandenburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Saxony-Anhalt as well as from the federal police. Water cannons and an equestrian squadron are also ready for use.
In Bochum, the initiative “lateral thinking 234 Bochum” has registered 1000 participants. Among other things, a speech by “lateral thinking” founder Michael Ballweg has been announced. The demonstration may only take place as a stand rally. The city had forbidden an originally planned elevator, the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia confirmed the decision. 2,000 participants were registered in Göppingen, and organizers expect several hundred each at demonstrations in Pforzheim, Hanover and Berlin. The city had banned a rally in Munich because of expected rule violations.