Politicians condemned the attempt to storm the German parliament during the protests that prevailed in Berlin on Saturday against restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the Corona virus in the country.
Demonstrators, most of them sympathetic to the extreme right, tried to storm a security cordon and go up the stairs of the German parliament, the Reichstag, before the police forces could disperse them.
Germany’s interior minister said there should be “no tolerance” for this behavior.
The peaceful demonstrations in Berlin last Saturday, attended by about 38,000 people.
What happened in front of the Reichstag?
A number of demonstrators carrying the flags of Tsarist Germany, used by the far-right German Reich group, managed to bypass a few police forces to the entrance to the Parliament House.
German police estimated the number of this group of demonstrators in the hundreds.
The entrance to the Reichstag headquarters witnessed clashes, but the police managed to repel the demonstrators using pepper spray in addition to arresting a number of them.
The police refused to criticize them for using a small number of forces to secure parliament, explaining that “it is not possible for the police forces to be deployed everywhere all the time.”
Reactions to the incident
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said: “The Reichstag is the seat of our parliament and a symbolic center of our democracy. It cannot be tolerated to see troublemakers and extremists abusing it in the interest of achieving their goals.”
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned what happened during the Berlin demonstrations, describing it as: “an intolerable attack on the heart of our democracy.”
He added: “Those who have been angered by the measures that we apply to limit the spread of the Corona virus or who doubt their necessity have the right to express this openly in the protests. But their tolerance ends when they join the enemies of democracy and the instigators of political strife.”
Olaf Schulz, German Deputy Chancellor Angela Merkel and a leader in the Social Democratic Party, was among a large number of politicians who condemned the use of symbols of the far-right and Caesarean Germany.
What happened during the demonstrations?
The German authorities prevented the organization of the Berlin demonstrations at first, but a German court decision allowed the demonstrators to organize this event on the condition that they adhere to measures to limit the spread of the Corona virus, such as wearing masks and social distancing.
Police arrested 300 people after 200 rioters, belonging to the extreme right, threw stones and empty bottles at the gate of the parliament building.
The police forces ordered to disperse the demonstrations later that day, justifying that for the participants not adhering to the rules of prevention of the epidemic.
The protesters gathered in separate places, but later gathered in one place and sat on the ground.
Among the demonstrators was German cookbook author and conspiracy theorist Attila Heilmann, who addressed the crowd through a loudspeaker.
Although Germany did not witness the renewed wave of the Corona virus in different parts of Europe, the rate of infection spread in this country has shown a remarkable increase in the recent period. And the numbers of new cases in Germany began to touch the levels they were last April.
Who organized the Berlin protests?
The Kuirdken 711 movement in the German city of Stuttgart called for demonstrations in the capital, Berlin, to protest the restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the Corona virus. This movement has a page on the social networking site Facebook, which is followed by 16 thousand people, and it also communicates with its followers through the social networking application Telegram.
This movement believes that the restrictions to limit the spread of the epidemic violate the rights and freedoms stipulated in the German constitution, and it wants these restrictions to be lifted and stopped in Germany.
The German demonstrations were also supported by Robert F Kennedy JR, an opponent of the use of anti-vaccines, the son of Democratic US presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, who was assassinated, and the nephew of the former US president who was also assassinated, John F Kennedy, who was among the demonstrators in the German capital last Saturday.
Pictures of the protests showed flags and slogans related to the conspiracy theory known as “Ka Anon”, a theory launched and adopted by the extreme right in the United States that promotes the existence of a secret plan for what is known as the “deep state in the United States” targeting US President Donald Trump.
Counter-demonstrations also took place, with the number of participants reaching about 100, who organized one march. And some of the participants in this counter-demonstration chanted: “You are marching with the Nazis and fascists.”
What restrictions does Germany impose to limit the spread of the Corona virus?
Germany was one of the most effective countries in terms of imposing a framework for responding to the epidemic that includes limiting the spread of the Coronavirus, detecting, containing and treating the epidemic.
Germany has also demonstrated high efficiency in responding to the Coronavirus, especially in maintaining the death rate due to the epidemic in the age group above 70 years.
Germany began easing social distancing restrictions in early April, but it continued to conduct the detection of the virus, whose spread increased in August.
And Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, announced last Thursday, together with the 16 federal state governments, a fine of a minimum of 50 euros for failing to wear masks in places that require their use. The German government has also extended the ban on holding public events until the end of this year.
The number of cases of the epidemic in Germany recorded 242,000, which is one of the lowest European countries in terms of the spread of infection. The number of deaths due to the epidemic, 9297, is very low in Germany compared to Russia, the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy, according to Johns Hopkins University.