Hundreds of arrests and water cannons in Berlin: Federal Justice Minister Lambrecht defended the police intervention in the corona protests. Other federal politicians have made similar statements.
Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht defended the police operation with water cannons against demonstrators who protested against the state corona measures in Berlin on Wednesday. The SPD politician said that if requirements such as mask requirements or keeping your distance were deliberately disregarded, a meeting would have to be dissolved.
“The state has to show who has the monopoly of violence in this country. It cannot be that the state resigns itself when many demonstrators come to deliberately violate the rules,” Lambrecht told the newspapers of the Funke media group.
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also defended the police’s actions. “The democratic constitutional state lives and the police are its protective shield,” he said.
Ten officers injured
Under the protest of thousands of people in the government district, the Bundestag and Bundesrat paved the way for the changes planned by the coalition in the Infection Protection Act. The Berlin police used water cannons for the first time in years – but without a sharp jet, but only in spray mode.
On the fringes of the protests, there were occasional scuffles between police officers and demonstrators. According to the police, a total of 365 people were temporarily arrested. According to police, ten officers had reported injured by the evening.
The situation only eased in the late afternoon. Hundreds of people demonstrated against the law in front of Bellevue Palace, the official residence of the Federal President, that evening.
Hofreiter: “Attack on Democracy”
SPD leader Saskia Esken also praised the police’s actions. She welcomed the fact that the police acted promptly and consistently to protect democracy and health, she told the editorial network Germany.
The fact that prescribed rules of conduct to combat corona were not observed was in itself reason enough to dissolve the meeting, said Esken. “The fact that – as in similar events – right-wing extremist symbols up to the Hitler salute are shown, while at the same time equating our politics with the authorization of the Nazis or putting the mask requirement on the same level as the mass murder of the Shoah, that is beyond all democratic tolerance limits and must be an alarm signal for us all. “
Green parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter told the “Passauer Neue Presse”: “When people fear for their livelihoods, such as the gastronomy and the cultural sector, and the ‘Red Alert’ movement demonstrates peacefully and in compliance with the rules, I understand very well.” Around the Reichstag, however, right-wing extremists, Reich citizens and conspiracy theorists were once again on the move without mask and distance and wanted to storm the Bundestag. “This is an attack on democracy and its institutions.”
Targeted “disturbers” placed on the visitor list?
The criticism is also increasingly directed at the AfD. During the debate about the Infection Protection Act, alleged guests harassed MPs in the corridors of the building and sometimes filmed them. Several parliamentarians later reported that they were people who put the AfD on the visitor list.
Katrin Göring-Eckardt, parliamentary leader of the Greens, accused the AfD of being “the stirrup holder for those who destroy democracy”. “Anyone who lets troublemakers into the Bundestag so that democratically elected members should be harassed and intimidated is attacking our parliamentary democracy,” said Göring-Eckardt to the editorial network in Germany.
He was not used to any other behavior from the AfD, commented the chairman of the Union faction, Ralph Brinkhaus, in joint morning magazine from ARD and ZDF the incidents. But it is right that the Bundestag’s council of elders is now dealing with it. The committee wants to discuss what happened today. The managing director of the Union parliamentary group, Michael Grosse-Brömer, called for a comprehensive clarification of the allegations and that violations should be punished. Petra Pau, MP for the Left Party, spoke in Deutschlandfunk of administrative offenses or possibly even criminal offenses that were committed by harassing parliamentarians.
Marco Buschmann, parliamentary managing director of the FDP parliamentary group, also insisted on an “aftermath” of the events: “It would be an outrageous scandal if MPs smuggled in people who besiege, harass or put pressure on other MPs.”
AfD MP gives invitation
The ARD capital studio AfD MP Udo Hemmelgarn said yesterday that his office had registered a conspiratorial journalist as a guest. However, it was clearly agreed not to take photos except with members of the AfD. The man did not stick to that. Hemmelgarn does not want to have invited any other people.
A woman got access to the Bundestag via the office of AfD MP Peter Bystron, according to information from the ARD capital studio from AfD circles. Bystron did not deny this on request. In a livestream of those invited, there is also talk of MP Hansjörg Müller as the invitee.
Bernd Baumann, parliamentary managing director of the AfD parliamentary group, had previously emphasized that his parliamentary group had “no knowledge that AfD MPs smuggled unauthorized persons into the Bundestag on Wednesday”. He added: “If guests who are regularly registered by individual members and who have been checked by the Bundestag have violated the house rules, we will investigate these allegations.”