Interior Minister on Corona demonstrations: “Oppose those who are ready to use violence”

Status: 01/28/2022 12:28 p.m

The interior ministers of the federal and state governments want to take more action against hatred and calls for violence during demonstrations against corona measures. According to Federal Interior Minister Faeser, right-wing extremists are now increasingly exploiting them.

The interior ministers of the federal and state governments want to take decisive action against violent corona demonstrators. “We have to oppose the people who are ready to use violence and who only take the Corona issues as a hook to spread their radical ideas and their anti-democratic attitude,” said Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) when he took over the chairmanship of the Interior Ministers’ Conference (IMK).

Increased monitoring of extremist movements

Combating any form of extremism and anti-constitutional tendencies has always been a “central goal” of the IMK. Hermann announced that he would advocate increased observation of extremist efforts within the “Corona Measures Critics Movement”. Bavaria took over the rotating chairmanship of the IMK on Friday. The previous chairman, Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU), handed over the presidency to his Bavarian colleague Herrmann in Stuttgart.

Strobl expressed concern about the growing number of demonstrators against the Corona measures. In the southwest, 80,000 people would come together in 300 to 400 places on a Monday. The motivation is different, you shouldn’t lump the participants together. At the latest in the event of violent attacks, decent citizens would have to leave, said Strobl.

Faeser: First contacts with Telegram operators

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) was also present at the meeting. Demonstrations against the Corona measures are now increasingly being “instrumentalised and abused by right-wing extremists,” explained Faeser. “We clearly oppose inhumanity and dangerous conspiracy theories.” Outbreaks of violence, hatred and hate speech – on the internet and on the street – are unacceptable. In the event of violence, the rule of law will take action, said Faeser.

In the meantime, Faeser expects progress in the fight against hate crime in the messenger service Telegram. The minister said before the start of the conference of interior ministers that there were initial contacts between her house and the operators. The service has already proven in the past that it can remove calls for violence from Islamists, for example, from its public pages. The federal government now also expects this in the case of hatred and hate speech, for example against the prime minister or members of the state parliament. It’s not about banning the messenger service, emphasized Faeser. Telegram is a help for people in non-democratic countries. But the operators would have to do something against hatred in democratic countries. Posters with calls for murder would be removed immediately in a city – the same must apply on the Internet.

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