The protest against the Corona demands is driving many people into the streets – including extremists. The state does not want to stand by idly. Baden-Württemberg is the beginning.
Stuttgart (dpa) – The state office for the protection of the constitution in Baden-Württemberg is the first in Germany to observe the “lateral thinking” movement.
As the German news agency in Stuttgart learned on Wednesday, the state office classified “lateral thinking 711” as an object of observation. The group, which has been taking to the streets for months against state-imposed corona restrictions, is radicalising and has been infiltrated by extremists, according to security circles. The founder of the movement “lateral thinking” is the Stuttgart entrepreneur Michael Ballweg.
Baden-Württemberg Minister of the Interior Thomas Strobl (CDU) and President of the Constitutional Protection Office Beate Bube intend to provide information on how to deal with the “lateral thinking” movement in the morning (11am) , said a spokesman for the DPA ministry. Strobl had recently warned of the growing influence of extremists and constitutional enemies in the ranks of “lateral thinkers”. The movement is fueled by Reichs, self-governors, right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists who instrumentalized the protesters.
The Stuttgart founder Ballweg ‘lateral thinking’ has repeatedly defended himself against the allegations. The entrepreneur last said to the dpa at the end of last week: “We are a peaceful movement and not a political party.” Extremism, violence, anti-Semitism and inhuman ideas have as little place in the “lateral thinkers” as the symbols of these ways of thinking.
Supporters of the initiative “lateral thinking 711”, the abbreviation comes from the Stuttgart telephone code 0711, and offshoots of the movement have taken to the streets in numerous German cities in recent months against restrictions in the corona crisis. The mix of participants is diverse: it varies from rather bourgeois protesters, esotericists, peace movements to Reich citizens and openly right-wing extremists. Recently, there was repeated violence in the vicinity of the demonstrations.
The conference of the ministers of the interior also wants to address the issue on Thursday. The Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) of Lower Saxony had already called for a quick check on the movement.