Germany: Querdenker movement takes the lead of protest as Covid deniers

With the continuing spread of the Delta variant strain of the Covid-19, which is approaching a two year Pandemic, the pathetic reality that people are ignoring health authorities warnings and common sense government restrictions is incredible.

Germany, a country people would like to think of as a leader in enforcing reasonable health measures, is being buffeted by a loud, obnoxious and dangerous protest movement. Origins of and support for these anti-vaccine protests can be found in Germany’s far right political scene which includes the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD).

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 7.31.2021

Judges in the German capital have moved to ban a number of weekend demonstrations amid fears they will lead to a rise in coronavirus infections. Police expect protesters to travel to Berlin nonetheless.

Berlin authorities have banned more than tens of thousands of anti-lockdown protesters demonstrating this weekend.

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Querdenker protests have been held regularly over the past year, but many have been banned

What is the ‘Querdenker’?

The Querdenker, or lateral thinker group is Germany’s main anti-lockdown movement.

It has been monitored by the country’s intelligence agencies amid fears of its links to far-right and extremist groups.

The group has helped spread conspiracy theories about the pandemic and vaccination efforts.

They claim that COVID-19 and the federal and regional laws aimed at halting the spread of the virus, infringe on citizens’ liberties

Critics, including the far-right Alternative for Germany party, say the ban is hypocritical because authorities allowed a march of 35,000 people to take place last weekend.

Judges at the German capital’s administrative court refused to authorize 13 demonstrations, some of which had been organized by the Querdenker (Lateral thinker) anti-lockdown movement.

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Fall 2020 Covid restriction protests in Germany

The ban was upheld by the Berlin-Brandeburg upper administrative court.

Organizers said 22,500 people had registered to take part in one of the rallies.

Court officials said the protests were banned amid fears of a rise in coronavirus infections sparked by the delta variant.

A separate march planned for Sunday has also been forbidden.

The “For Peace, Freedom, Truth” rally had been expected to draw 3,500 people.

Several of the demonstrations had been organized in support of Berlin’s nightclubs.

Why were the demos banned?

The court said the risk to public health was too high.

Facial mask vending machine in Berlin, Germany - 27 Apr 2020
Covid-19 mask vending machine

The upper court said the Querdenker movement was characterized throughout Germany “by the fact that the participants used them to violate legal norms created to contain the risk of infection in a way that attracted public attention, in particular by disregarding the social distance requirement and the mask requirement.”

Berlin police fear that many of them will still decide to travel to the German capital.

The bans affect all protests “whose participants regularly do not follow legal regulations, specifically to protect against infections,” said police spokesman Thilo Cablitz.

He cited the refusal by demonstrators to wear a mask.