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Outrage after the march in front of the house of Saxony’s Minister of Health Köpping

DThe torch-lit elevator in the dark looked martial and it was meant to inspire fear. Around 30 radical opponents of the Corona measures moved in front of the home of the Saxon Health Minister Petra Köpping (SPD) near Leipzig on Friday evening, allegedly to express their displeasure with the Saxon government. When the police arrived, the “protesters” tried to flee; However, the officials said they were able to stop 15 cars and record the personal details of 25 people who were alleged to have taken part in the action. The march was once again a negative climax of the protests against restrictions, which have been rising again for weeks, in order to break the fourth corona wave. During the second wave in January, two dozen protesters appeared during the day in front of the private house of Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU).

Stefan Locke

Correspondent for Saxony and Thuringia based in Dresden.

At the time, Kretschmer had entered into a discussion, but it broke off when a woman had put on a mask with “Reichsbürger” insignia. On Saturday he jumped aside from Köpping. “We oppose all forces that want to intimidate,” said Kretschmer, who leads a coalition of the CDU, the Greens and the SPD. “Petra Köpping has my full support and solidarity. What happened to her concerns all of us Saxons! “

Seehofer: Recalls the darkest chapters of German history

Nationwide, politicians reacted appalled. Organized intimidation like this reminded him of the darkest chapters in German history, said Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU). “These are methods that the SA invented,” said Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens). SPD boss Norbert Walter-Borjans spoke of a “fascist appearance”, the co-chairwoman Saskia Esken turned to Köpping via Twitter: “Even if the couple of Hansel try to spread fear and horror: the sensible and willing to take responsibility are the big ones Majority, and it stands by your side. “

In fact, there are always only a few dozen or a few hundred people who come together every evening in different cities. But the large number of elevators declared as “walks” caused problems for the Saxony police from the beginning, which is why the incident has now led to a sharp debate about the protection not only of politicians, but also doctors and vaccination teams, who are also exposed to intimidation. Saxony’s SPD explicitly criticized the lack of protective measures. The action on Friday evening was a “disgusting attempt at intimidation – unworthy, abhorrent and absolutely intolerable,” said state chief Henning Homann. For months, his party in the government has been calling for stricter controls, more security for employees in vaccination centers and consistent action against “lateral thinkers”. “Far too little happened, however.” The left-wing politician Kerstin Köditz even speaks of a “loss of control”.

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Saxony’s Interior Minister Roland Wöller (CDU) sharply condemned the elevator in front of Köpping’s house. It is “unbelievable how unrestrained hatred and agitation are spread”. At the same time, Wöller asked the public prosecutor to punish the violations as quickly as possible. “There has to be a clear and quick signal from the rule of law.” Because of the precarious Corona situation – Saxony has been leading by a large margin in the number of new infections for weeks – only stationary meetings of a maximum of ten people are allowed in the Free State. To get around this, protesters organize “walks”, which they call for via messenger services. Mainly channels of right-wing extremist small parties such as “III. Weg ”or the“ Free Saxony ”group, also classified as right-wing extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which was founded by representatives of the right-wing extremist group“ Pro Chemnitz ”and the NPD as an organization against the Corona policy.

Fear of numerous marches on Monday

Walking dates are regularly announced on the canals; almost 80 places appear for this Monday alone. These groups do not want to be organizers because they fear the consequences. “Every citizen is responsible for his or her own actions,” it says there, while a few lines about it play down the elevator in front of Köpping’s house (“peaceful citizens”, “nothing happens”) and incite against politicians. There is talk of police officers as “Kretschmer’s mercenaries” and “militias” who harassed peaceful citizens, the head of government is referred to as “despot” and his government as “regime”. In addition, there is false information about an alleged danger from corona vaccinations. AfD boss Tino Chrupalla, who called the torchlight march in front of Köppings “absolutely to be condemned”, was recommended to “shut up” in the forum.

Saxony’s protection of the constitution is observing the “lateral thinker” scene with increasing concern. “The idea of ​​violent resistance to democratic rules is now one of the typical standard demands of the movement of corona deniers,” it says there. And the situation could heat up not only in Saxony, fears Baden-Württemberg Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU). The “lateral thinkers” movement is “dangerous for our free democracy, and it is becoming even more dangerous. Saxony’s Ministry of the Interior has meanwhile announced that it will strengthen protective measures – this also applies to politicians like Petra Köpping.

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