The city of Berlin decided on Wednesday to ban a demonstration by opponents of mask wearing and restrictive measures against the novel coronavirus pandemic, sparking outrage from the far right who calls for “resistance”.
The authorities of the capital justified their decision to ban this demonstration scheduled for Saturday by the impossibility of respecting the distances of at least 1.5 meters between demonstrators, in a context of resumption of the epidemic in Germany.
The organizers of the rally can still appeal against this ban.
A previous demonstration by opponents of measures against the epidemic brought together some 20,000 people on August 1 in a motley procession bringing together “free thinkers”, anti-vaccine activists, conspiracy activists and even far-right supporters.
It was interrupted by the police because the demonstrators, after having been called to order several times, had not respected the barrier gestures.
“This is not a decision against freedom of assembly, but a decision for protection against infections”, justified Andreas Geisel, in charge of the Interior at the Berlin City Hall.
“We must therefore weigh the fundamental right of freedom of assembly against the right to the integrity of life. We have chosen life, ”added the elected Social Democrat, in a statement from the municipality.
But the decision sparked an uproar from the ranks of the far right.
“Would you have made the same decision if the demonstrations had been + AGAINST THE RIGHT”? », Was indignant on Twitter Alice Weidel, head of the deputies of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the Bundestag.
Calls to “resist” and to demonstrate on Saturday despite the ban circulated on social networks on Wednesday.
The popular daily Bild, the most widely read in Germany, was itself moved in a scathing editorial on the internet of this ban, an “unacceptable attack on one of our most fundamental rights”.
“A very unsavory group, but above all (still) quite small, is put here in a position to defend our Basic Law”, deplores Bild, recalling that many gatherings have been authorized in recent months in Berlin despite the pandemic.
Like many European countries, Germany has been facing a resumption of the COVID-19 pandemic in recent weeks, with more than 1,000 new cases officially reported every day and 9,280 deaths.