Politicians demand toughness: Borjans calls protests in Saxony “fascistoid”

Politicians demand toughness
Borjans calls protests in Saxony “fascistoid”

The march in front of the house of the Saxon Minister of Health Köpping is disturbing. The criticism from politics is correspondingly harsh. In addition, calls for more severity against opponents of measures are again loud. The police watched too often, they say. The practical test is already pending.

The Saxon Minister of Health Petra Köpping receives a lot of political support after protests by opponents of the corona measures in front of her house in Grimma. For the protesters, on the other hand, there is criticism that has seldom been heard before.

SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans wrote on Twitter: “What happened yesterday in front of Petra Köpping’s house has nothing to do with worry and the urge for freedom. It is fascistoid in style and appearance.” SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil said at a party conference in Berlin that the limits of freedom of expression had been exceeded. It could not be that politicians were threatened and “right-wing conspirators and oathers” gathered with torches in front of the house of a minister. “That needs an answer with the full rigor of the rule of law, it needs a contradiction of the decent in this country,” emphasized Klingbeil.

Opponents of the corona policy protested on Friday evening, shouting with torches and posters in front of the Saxon health minister’s house. According to the police, about 30 people gathered in Grimma. When the officers arrived, the people had fled in several vehicles. Police stopped 15 cars and established the identities of 25 people.

Politicians sharply condemned the protest as attempted intimidation and expressed solidarity with the minister. The police have reported the violation of the Assembly Act and are investigating violations of the Corona Ordinance. According to the regulation, only fixed meetings with a maximum of ten participants are currently allowed in Saxony. The state is currently particularly hard hit by the corona pandemic.

Harsh criticism of the protestors’ behavior came from other parties as well. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann condemned the events sharply. “These are methods that the SA invented,” he criticized at the State Green Party conference in Baden-Württemberg in memory of the NSDAP’s fighting organization. Saxony’s government spokesman Ralph Schreiber said about the events in Grimma that the state government saw this as a border crossing with the aim of intimidating those responsible. “As a consequence, the protective measures for public officials and their families will be further increased.”

Interior Minister must act

Köpping himself condemned the protest in front of her house as “disgusting and indecent”. She knows that these are not protests, but organized attempts to intimidate right-wing extremists and conspiracy believers, which unfortunately occur far too often – in front of doctors’ offices, at vaccination centers and hospitals, against mayors and other committed people, she said.

The Saxon Vice-Prime Minister Wolfram Günther said the incident was a further breach of taboo – “also encouraged by the fact that oathers were too often able to move unhindered through Saxon cities. Corona deniers and the right-wing extremists by their side are becoming bolder and more radical”. He expects a clear prioritization from the Ministry of the Interior. The parliamentary group leader of the left in the Saxon state parliament, Rico Gebhardt, as well as the state leaders of the left, Susanne Schaper and Stefan Hartmann, said the incident was a clear crossing of borders. State Interior Minister Roland Wöller must finally move from observing to acting.

In the past few days there had been repeated demonstrations against the Corona policy in several Saxon locations. The police in Dresden is already preparing for the next major operation on Monday: Then a demonstration against the Corona measures is expected in front of the state parliament. Parliament wants to decide on the determination of the epidemic situation in the Free State on that day. With this, the government wants to achieve legal certainty for the continuation of existing protective measures and their possible expansion. The police announced a “tougher pace” against protests. Most recently, it came under criticism because marches by corona deniers could take place almost unmolested despite the police presence.

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