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Anti-Corona protest in Leipzig: Hundreds of rights and hooligans demonstrate of ‘lateral thinking’ movement – politics

A total of 27 demonstrations, rallies and demonstrations against the Corona measures in Leipzig have been announced for Saturday. The Stuttgart initiative “lateral thinking” has been mobilizing nationwide to Saxony for weeks.

According to their own statements, the police are planning a “very intensive operation because a certain potential for radicalization is recognizable on all sides”. The Saxon officials receive support from hundreds from Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, as well as from the riot police of the federal police. The Berlin police, tried and tested during demonstrations, is also present in Leipzig.

Follow the development here (more background on the movement “lateral thinking” at the end of the text):

9.45 am: The initiative “lateral thinking” may now demonstrate against the corona measures in the center of Leipzig. The higher administrative court of Bautzen decided that the demonstration with 16,000 people may take place on Augustusplatz, the city announced on Saturday morning.

On Friday evening, the administrative judge first confirmed the city’s demands in an emergency procedure. The city wanted to move the rally to the New Fair parking lots outside the city center.

10 am: Even before the official start of the demonstration, there was a first incident around 10 am. A car parade of the “lateral thinking” movement should begin at the old fair in the mid-southeast. After a few yards it stopped. Reason: a blockade of up to 50 left-wing counter-protesters.

The approximately 100 “silk cherry” who wanted to travel through the fair city under the motto “Love wins”, made no progress. Police are on the scene with a Bavarian 100, but have so far taken no steps to clear the street.

Police and counter-protesters at the old trade fair in Leipzig Photo: Julius Geiler

10:45 am: According to the dpa news agency, Matthias Hasberg, spokesman for the city of Leipzig, says about the decision of the Higher Administrative Court: “It is difficult to explain that currently only two households are allowed to meet, but 16,000 people are allowed to demonstrate on one. place.”

12.30 pm: The city center is filling up more and more. The photos show that most participants do not adhere to the Corona requirements. Distances are not adhered to. Masks cannot be seen.

1.15 pm: The situation is according to the assessment of our colleague Julius Geiler, who follows the events in Leipzig. There are, of course, a lot of rights and hooligans on the site. These would mix with the protesters. He estimates their number at about 1,000.

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In the course of Friday, authorities announced that the original lift route on the “Leipziger Ring” around Augustplatz could not be carried out given the current contamination rate.

Instead, the “silk cherry” in front of the city gates were offered the railing of the New Fair. This would have been a major setback for the movement had the peaceful revolution of 1989 been recreated on the Leipzig ring road. For weeks now, the organization’s chat groups have been spreading the myth that Saturday’s demonstration could be the start of a new revolution.

Lots of attempts to mobilize rights

The city of Leipzig will be advertised through the internal channels and numerous corona-skeptic and conspiracy theoretical meetings within the inner-city ring are unaffected by the court order. In contrast to the last major protests of the movement in Berlin, Dresden and Munich, the Leipzig demonstration is again heavily advertised among right-wing populists and right-wing extremists.

A similar mobilization of the right-wing scene was last seen on August 29 in Berlin, where right-wing hooligan groups fought with the police in front of the Russian embassy in the afternoon and hundreds of Reich citizens pulled down the barriers in front of the Bundestag building and up to the entrance portal at night. could move forward.

The demonstration of the ‘lateral thinking’ initiative was also promoted among right-wing extremists. Photo: dpa / Christoph Soeder

A two-minute video leading up to the meeting is particularly popular with the internal “silk cherry” exchange groups. You can see a compilation of various demonstrations of the movement, with the Leipzig Völkerschlachtdenkmal in between.

Reich citizens and hooligans advertise demo

The clip is covered in dramatic, heroic music. Among other things, the text displayed says, “This is what it has to fight for. Germany is rising “and” time to end it. Germans never give up. It is also shared by supporters of the Reichsburger scene from the area of ​​former NPD official Rüdiger Hoffmann, from whose stage on August 29 there was a call to “storm the Reichstag”.

At the same time, right-wing extremist organizations such as the youth organization of the NPD “Junge Nationalisten” and “Legida”, the Leipzig offshoot of Pegida, are calling for participation in the demonstration “lateral thinking”. Legida was even more radical from the start than the original from Dresden.

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People from the Leipzig hooligan scene continued to mingle with the participants of Legida events. In addition, a strong presence of supporters of the “QAnon” conspiracy theory is to be expected, the number of which, according to experts, is currently growing rapidly in Germany.

Call for violence in chat groups

To the US conspiracy theory community, US President Donald Trump is seen as a messiah who, as a savior, is ridding the world of evil. The unclear election results in the US and a possible victory for Joe Biden are causing great unrest in the community.

More and more conspiracy theories are mixing with corona demonstrations, experts estimate Photo: dpa / Fabian Strauch

It is completely unclear to what extent this tension could manifest itself in the streets of Leipzig on Saturday. Screenshots of Telegram groups and livestream comment columns, available for the Tagesspiegel, include calls for armed violence.

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It would finally be time to get up and fight back, is the reigning tenor in the right-wing scene. It is unclear to what extent the organization ‘lateral thinking’ succeeds in distinguishing itself from right-wing extremists who are prepared to use violence. In the past this has not or hardly happened. This highly explosive situation coupled with an expected major counter-protest from the traditionally strong leftist scene in Leipzig could lead to an escalation in the streets of the largest Saxon city.

Protesters ignored the Corona requirements

Friday evening is a first taste of the weekend. While more than a hundred “silk cherry” held two meetings in the central Augustplatz and the market square, some without mask or distance, chaotic scenes briefly occurred in the traditionally alternative district of Connewitz.

In a left-handed spontaneous demonstration of about 200 people, the emergency services were pelted with stones and fireworks, as a police spokesman told Tagesspiegel. Photos on the social networks show the broken window of a bus stop and barricades erected by fallen garbage cans. Three officers were injured and one was forced to stop.

However, the events in Connewitz were not in the context of the demonstrations in the city. Apparently the reason was the arrest of a person from the left scene by the Saxon LKA on Friday morning.

At the demonstration “thinking sideways” on the market in Leipzig, the leader of the meeting should expect a complaint. Assembly requirements such as wearing mouth and nose protection were repeatedly ignored, police announced in the evening.

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