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Berlin: Conspiracy Theorists Attempt to Fool Police

Corona deniers intend to stage protests on Saturday, in spite of the ban Berlin’s Senate Administration of the Interior imposed on the rallies they had announced. Now the conspiracy theorists are registering new rallies.

Followers of the ‘Querdenken 711’ movement of Corona deniers are planning to take to the streets tomorrow. Because the Berlin Senate had banned their protests earlier this week, they are trying to find a ways to bypass that decision.

Thousands of Protests

Challenging the ban on their protest at Berlin’s Administrative Court is one way they already pursued. A decision is pending. In case their legal attempts are not successful, the Corona deniers intend to make themselves heard anyway. They are registering thousands of protests at the Berlin Police Department.

The usual number of protests that take place in Berlin per year is 4,000 to 5,000. Now, the police already has 4,000 protest registrations for tomorrow only, according to several German-language media. Flooding the police with registrations might give them the opportunity to demonstrate legally, the deniers are hoping. They believe the authorities will not be able to check each of their applications and therefore approve at least some of them.

Preparing for All Contingencies

Berlin’s authorities know what to expect. They are preparing for all contingencies:

>> The Administrative Court might dump the protest ban for Corona deniers. In this case, the police would have to deal with tens of thousands of protesters who would not adhere to the Corona rules because they do not believe in the virus. As a result, the police would need to end the protest.

>> In case the ban holds up in court, thousands, possibly tens of thousands of Corona deniers might still try to stage protests, either by doing so illegally or by registering rallies that sound harmless to the authorities, and using this opportunity to stage a big protest in spite of it all.

>> The police might have to deal with a large number of small protests of Corona deniers all over the city. A decentralized approach would not make things easier.

Enforcement for Police

Either way, the Berlin Police Department will not manage to control the situation on its own. That is why the Federal Police and police forces from other federal states were asked for support. Because of Berlin’s status as the German capital and the high number of protests it has because of it, this is a regular occurrence.

Several Corona deniers’ protest events organized for Saturday had been banned by the Senate Administration of the Interior. Senator Andreas Geisel had said this was not a decision against the freedom of assembly, but one for infection protection. Whether the Administrative court believes the latter has a higher priority than freedom of speech and other fundamental rights remains to be seen.

Deniers and Nazis

Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, conspiracy theorists had staged protests in Berlin. From the start, Nazis and other haters had joined them. On August 1st, up to 30,000 people took part in two ‘Querdenken 711’ protests in Berlin. They were joined by Nazis, including some of the most prominent ones.

Back then, the organizers had claimed more than one million people had participated. The police said 20,000 people had taken part. Later, that number was corrected to 30,000.

The Berlin Senate is discussing the protest ban for Corona deniers and its implications. As expected, the right-wing extremist ‘AfD’ slammed the ban, while the far-left ‘Die Linke’ partially disagrees with it. But the conservative CDU at the Berlin House of Representatives agrees.

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