Berlin (dpa) – Bundestag Speaker Wolfgang Schäuble has sharply attacked the “lateral thinker” scene.
“If virtually all experts around the world say that Corona is dangerous and vaccination helps, who has the right to say: But I’m smarter? For me, that is an almost unbearable degree of arrogance,” said Schäuble of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”.
The CDU politician appealed to the scene: “Look at the scientific findings, don’t be fooled by cheap slogans!” Schäuble added, “Even with lateral thinkers, the emphasis should be on ‘thinking’ and not on ‘lateral’.”
Meanwhile, in Berlin, despite the ban on several demonstrations, thousands of people from the ‘lateral thinker’ scene took to the streets. There were several clashes between protesters and police on Sunday.
Meanwhile, water cannons went up in the air at the Victory Column. Some 500 people have been arrested or temporarily detained for recording personal information, a police spokesman said. Helicopters circled different parts of the city as groups of “silk thinkers” had dispersed in the capital.
Police say there have been repeated attempts to break through barriers. “Here, physical violence had to be used in individual cases,” said a police spokesman. In the morning several hundred people had gathered at the Olympic Square in the west of the capital. More than 2,200 police officers were present.
There were also major protests at the Victory Column. A rally of the “lateral thinking 711” initiative was originally planned on Straße des 17. Juni, for which about 22,500 participants were registered. Berlin police had banned the rally and a number of other protests over fears of violations of Corona hygiene requirements.
The police have issued denials. According to a spokesperson, she also stopped a coach and took care of technique. The groups had come together again and again throughout the city — the “aggression potential” was varied, the dpa police spokesman said. Police officers were also injured, but he did not give an exact number or other details. According to information on Twitter, the police also used irritants and batons.
People protested in various groups, demanding, for example, “an end to the corona dictatorship”, holding banners saying “no test: no pandemic” or speaking out against coronavirus denial. Others used whistles, flags, drums or chants such as “Peace, Freedom, Democracy” and “We are the people”. Some were out with heart-shaped balloons. Sometimes protesters ran through traffic, sometimes they walked on sidewalks.
“We have been preparing for a very tiring mission this whole weekend,” said the police spokesman. When asked about the tactics of the police and why people had gathered, he said: The police must act with a sense of proportion. “We can’t randomly check everyone now, for example at Pariser Platz.” People have also moved out of the tourist hot spots and are congregating by the hundreds. The police dispersed them again.
The spokesman for the “lateral thinking 711″ initiative, Michael Ballweg, said on Sunday that his initiative accepted the ban on the demonstration. But freedom cannot be forbidden. “People are now standing up for their fundamental rights independently. And the meetings are taking place anyway.” At the same time, Ballweg criticized the ban, saying that a coordinated meeting with conditions, files and de-escalation teams would have been safer.
In an internal “emergency plan”, the initiative called on people to come to Berlin also in the event of a ban. Exactly one year ago, on August 1, there was a large demonstration against the Corona measures in Berlin.