Munich (dpa) – In Bavaria, the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution observes parts of the so-called lateral thinker movement.
“The collective observation object records individuals and groups of people who call for violent actions against state institutions, against the state infrastructure or against state representatives, or who participate in such actions that are intended to significantly impair the functionality of the state,” said Bavaria. Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) on Wednesday in the Internal Affairs committee of the Bavarian state parliament in Munich.
Proponents of “lateral thinking” and offshoots of the movement have demonstrated in many cities in recent months against constraints in the Corona crisis. Neo-Nazis and so-called Reich citizens, recognizable by flags and symbols, often took part in the demonstrations.
“In essence, the participants in so-called anti-corona demonstrations in Bavaria are very heterogeneous and have a wide variety of motives,” said Herrmann. Classical right-wing extremists and Reich citizens have so far been sporadically noted as participants and not as decisive actors in the Corona protests in Bavaria. “But you are certainly at the center of constitutional protection.”
In addition, the Bavarian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution is now intensively investigating “whether there are extremist influences or efforts that jeopardize security in individual protest initiatives against corona-restricting measures regardless of conventional right-wing extremists,” Herrmann said.
The minister emphasized that it is not about harassing every protester or critic. “It’s about looking at a few people who are calling for violent resistance,” said Herrmann. Of course everyone in a democracy has the opportunity to express themselves critically. But there are actors in the movement who question the legitimacy of the democratically elected decision-makers and the rule of law as a whole.
Herrmann went on to say that these activists see the state as an “unjust regime” and that the use of force is justified. “That has nothing to do with legitimate protest, a response from the security authorities is the necessity here.” The activities should therefore be classified as anti-democratic efforts endangering security and thus an observer mandate from the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
The interior ministers of the federal states have long debated the observation of the lateral thought movement. In Baden-Württemberg, the movement of “lateral thinking” that originated in Stuttgart has been observed for months by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The group “lateral thinking 711” is something like the core of the protest movement against the corona measures, which has been active nationally for quite some time.