Berlin (dpa) – Two ‘lateral thinking’ demonstrations against the corona policy planned for the weekend in the capital have been banned. A spokesman for the Berlin police announced this on Wednesday evening.
“Taking into account and after evaluating the objective situation, we have banned two meetings so far, one on July 31 and one on August 1, 2021.” The police would not say which demonstrations are involved, not even when asked. The investigation of further meetings is also ongoing.
On Sunday, among other things, a ‘lateral thinking’ rally is planned for the afternoon on Straße des 17. Juni at the Brandenburg Gate. The organizers of the “lateral thinking 711” initiative had registered 22,500 participants, their spokesman Michael Ballweg said on Wednesday before the ban was announced.
The Stuttgart initiative has called for the event under the motto “The year of freedom and peace – life after the pandemic”. According to information from the RBB, the rally is one of the events banned by the police assembly. Ballweg said Wednesday evening that he was not yet aware of it.
According to the spokesman, the Berlin police is preparing for a labor-intensive and violent weekend. “We are currently evaluating all circumstances and findings.” All follow-up measures were based on this. “That means: our operational concept, the detailed planning of the armed forces including the need for support personnel, but also a decision whether and which meeting should be pronounced on a ban.”
The organizers of the rally of “lateral thinking 711” have prepared an “emergency concept” in the event of a ban. “We need to prepare for when meetings critical of the government are simply banned across the board,” Ballweg said. “Then we have no choice but to explore alternatives.”
In the ’emergency concept’ that the BP has been given, several scenarios are taken into account. In the event that the rally is banned on Sunday afternoon and the Straße des 17. Juni is closed off, it is proposed to send the participants to another location, such as Tempelhofer Feld. Ballweg said Wednesday evening in view of possible bans: “There is still the legal way.”
At the end of August 2020, the Berlin authorities had already banned a demonstration of the “lateral thinking 711” initiative on Straße des 17. Juni, for which 22,000 participants were registered. The police stated that the gathering of tens of thousands of people, often without mask or distance, was too great a health risk for the population.
The Berlin Administrative Court overturned the decision at the time, arguing that there was insufficient evidence of an immediate threat to public security. The state could not demonstrate that the hygiene concept presented by the organizers would not be adhered to. The Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court subsequently confirmed the lifting of the ban.