After torchlight march in Saxony: Interior Minister calls for “rapid trials”

As of: December 6th, 2021 10:11 am

After the torchlight lift of Corona opponents, Saxony’s Interior Minister Wöller has called for a tougher approach to corona violations. These would have to be punished “immediately and rigorously”. The Dresden police are expecting further riots today.

Saxony’s Interior Minister Roland Wöller has sharply condemned the torch lift of alleged right-wing extremist opponents of the Corona protective measures in front of the home of Saxony’s Minister of Health Petra Köpping. “I have no understanding whatsoever when officials and those in charge and their families are threatened in their private sphere,” said the CDU politician Deutschlandfunk.

It would now be important to find a procedure with the public prosecutor to quickly punish committed violations. He therefore called for “rapid trials to punish violations of the corona protective measures immediately and rigorously,” he told the “Bild” newspaper. “Something like that can’t just happen weeks later.”

Wöller: Attack on Democracy

Opponents of the corona policy protested on Friday evening with torches and posters in front of Köpping’s house in Grimma, Saxony. The SPD politician is Minister of Health in Saxony. The police have reported the violation of the Assembly Act and are investigating violations of the Corona Ordinance. In addition, other criminal law aspects would be examined by the state security, among others.

In addition, there must be a change in the law to be able to act more sharply against hate posts in Internet services, said Wöller. These are “no longer harmless messenger services”, but “platforms for hatred and agitation”. This border crossing is also an attempt to delegitimize free democracy, said Wöller. More civil courage is needed in society. “It is precisely in such a crisis that we need common values ​​and solidarity”.

Extremism researcher: authorities “blind in the right eye”

Extremism researcher Oliver Decker also called for the police to take more active action against violent demonstrators. “You have to actually get access and enforce the law,” Decker said on ARD Morning magazine with a view to “clearly isolable groups made up of those willing to use violence”. Action must also be taken against right-wing extremist structures in the background. Unfortunately, especially in Saxony, there is a very long tradition that the police and the judiciary were blind to the right eye, criticized the researcher.

Decker sees “quite a broad spectrum” of participants in the corona protests. With denial and conspiracy ideologies, there is a hinge to the extreme right, “which is broadly represented and uses this opportunity to mobilize and to connect to the center of society.” Not enough attempts have been made to prevent right-wing extremists from organizing. “The organizing ability of the extreme right has increased very sharply,” said Decker.

Expert sees radicalization

Terrorism researcher Peter R. Neumann sees it similarly. Accordingly, corona deniers and so-called lateral thinkers have become increasingly radicalized in recent months. “A ‘right of resistance’ is increasingly being proclaimed,” said Neumann of the “Bild” newspaper. A year ago, this development did not exist to this extent. The announced compulsory vaccination against the coronavirus could be a “signal” for the group in question, he added.

“It has been discussed for a year and a half and now it should come – that will trigger something in parts of the scene.” He does not reckon with the emergence of a “tight organization, but rather individual perpetrators from the mass of lateral thinkers will want to take action”. This is also due to the fact that the scene is very heterogeneous, explained Neumann: “It is not closed to right-wing extremists.” On the contrary, many people are active there who have never been politically active before.

Dresden police are preparing a large-scale operation

In Dresden, the police are preparing again for a large-scale operation today. The reason: Parliament wants to decide on the determination of the epidemic situation in the Free State at noon. The emergency services expect a protest from opponents of the Corona policy in front of the Saxon state parliament. The police said it was called for in particular in social networks.

“Extremists are also mobilizing for a protest in front of the Saxon state parliament. Our risk prognosis, the basis of our tactics, is completely different from what it was on previous Mondays,” said Police President Jörg Kubiessa. As a result, this significantly narrows the scope for discretion. “The police will take a tougher course – naturally taking into account the principle of proportionality when choosing our means,” said Kubiessa. Water cannons should be ready in the city center.

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