Debate on «lateral thinking» | Free press

Stuttgart (dpa) – In view of the ongoing protests from the “lateral thinking” movement and the increasing violence in the vicinity of the demonstrations, calls for constitutional protection are growing louder.

In Baden-Württemberg and other federal states, however, it is not enough to be classified as an observation object, despite warnings of radicalization and infiltration by extremists. “Lateral thinking 711” is currently not an object of observation, the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution of Baden-Württemberg announced on request on Thursday. Well-known extremists, however, are active both among the organizers of the “lateral thinking” events and in the immediate environment of the initiative.

The chairman of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Stephan J. Kramer, expects the movement to be classified as a suspicious case soon. The background is a meeting of the organizers of the “silent” demonstrations against the corona measures with members of the Reichsburger scene in Saalfeld, Thuringia, Kramer told the German news agency. About 100 people from all over Germany took part. Only a few left after becoming aware of the makeup of the participants. Kramer had told the RBB that from his point of view there was now “enough evidence” to classify the scene as a suspicious case.

Uli Sckerl, member of the Baden-Württemberg Green State Parliament, expects a decision on a so-called test case in the southwest in the coming weeks. In the first instance, that would be the preliminary stage of a suspicious case in which the protection of the constitution can also make use of intelligence services. “There is enough material to make a joint and national decision in the foreseeable future,” said Sckerl, who also heads the parliamentary control commission of the secret service in Baden-Württemberg.

About a week ago, Home Secretary Thomas Strobl (CDU) warned the State Parliament’s Home Commission of the growing influence of extremists and constitutional enemies in the ranks of the “silk cherry”. The movement is fueled by Reich citizens, self-governors, right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists who instrumentalized the protesters.

The anti-Semitism commissioner of the state government of Baden-Württemberg, Michael Blume, openly accuses the “lateral thinkers” of being hostile to democracy. “It attacks democracy,” Blume said Thursday in the ZDF “morning magazine”. “If you don’t want to see how dangerous this movement is and how it is radicalising, then of course you don’t want to see that.”

Blume justified his judgment, among other things, by the fact that founder Michael Ballweg of “lateral thinking” had convened a “constitutional assembly”, and there were also contacts with the scene of the so-called Reichsburgers. These reject the German state, its legal system, governments, parliaments and the police.

The Stuttgart entrepreneur Ballweg defended himself against the allegations: “The movement is misrepresented,” he told the DPA. “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 “lateral thinking 0711” initiative and offshoots of the movement have taken to the streets in many German cities in recent months against the constraints of the Corona crisis. There were also counter-demonstrations.

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