Virus: justice authorizes anti-mask demonstration in Berlin

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Snub for the City of Berlin: German justice on Friday lifted a ban decreed by the municipality of the German capital on a demonstration by opponents of wearing masks and measures against the COVID-19 epidemic, scheduled for Saturday and widely supported by the extreme right.

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Thousands of opponents to wearing masks and restrictive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to parade, but while respecting barrier gestures and distancing.

Seized in summary, the administrative court of Berlin considered that “the existence of an immediate danger to public security” was not valid a priori.

The authorities of the capital had justified their decision to ban this demonstration 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 court, however, made the holding of this rally, for which some 22,000 people are expected, under certain conditions.

The organizers of the rally must ensure that a minimum distance is respected between demonstrators. They do not have to wear a mask.

The City of Berlin still has the possibility of lodging an appeal against this decision during the day with the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg.

A previous demonstration by opponents of measures against the epidemic had brought together the 1er August some 20,000 people in a motley procession bringing together “free thinkers”, anti-vaccine activists, conspirators and even far-right sympathizers.

It had been interrupted by the police, because the demonstrators, after having been called to order several times, had not respected the barrier gestures.

The police, who will be several thousand to secure the event, have also warned that they will disperse the demonstrators in the event of non-compliance with health rules.

The ban on Wednesday of this demonstration had sparked an uproar in the ranks of the extreme right which had qualified it as “dictatorial”.

She welcomed the court decision on Friday: Alternative for Germany (AfD) MP Leif-Erik Holm spoke on Twitter of a “victory for freedom”.

“The rule of law has protected the freedom of assembly against arbitrariness” of the left Berlin municipality, for her part rejoiced another leader of this party, Beatrix von Storch.

Counter-demonstrations are also planned in Berlin on Saturday.

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