Criticism of the police after the demonstration of the “lateral thinker” in Stuttgart


After more than 10,000 “side thinkers” were able to march largely unmolested by unmasked Stuttgart, there is harsh criticism of the behavior of the police and city administration.

According to the police, more than 10,000 people, mostly without masks and without distance, demonstrated at a rally of the “lateral thinking” movement against crown policy on Holy Saturday in Stuttgart. With a few exceptions, it was peaceful, a spokesperson said. Hundreds of officials were on duty but barely intervened due to violations of Corona’s rules. This generated much criticism, as well as attacks on journalists.

Uwe Lahl from the Baden-Württemberg Health Ministry, for example, said: “I don’t understand that the city has maneuvered in this situation with its eyes.” Both in writing and in a personal phone call, he showed the mayor of Stuttgart, Clemens Maier, the possibilities offered by the state regulation Corona also to prohibit large-scale demonstrations, the ministerial director said on Saturday.

So the city decided not to ban it. “That was wrong from an infectious point of view at this stage of the pandemic,” Lahl said. How to explain to the population that only five people from two households can meet during the Easter holidays, while thousands of protesters marched through the city without a mask and without a minimum distance? “The right to demonstrate is a valuable asset, but it has limits in a pandemic,” Lahl said.

Stuttgart city spokesman Sven Matis said the state’s current Crown ordinance, which does not restrict the basic right to gatherings due to the pandemic, has been complied with. “That was our criteria,” Matis said. “We fought hard over how to deal with the recorded rallies, then to be on safe ground, we turned to state ordinance.

The mayor promises reports of administrative infractions

According to Mayor Maier, there were thousands of administrative infractions. Anyone walking through the city without a mask and without any distance from the rallies would have to wait for reports. He will also consult with the state government to what extent Crown regulation will be adjusted based on experience in assembly matters.

The concept of the city and the police was for all the demonstration participants to gather at the end of the Cannstatter Wasen and not run wild through Stuttgart, Matis explained. The city had announced, in case of violations of the mask requirement and prescribed intervals, to dissolve the meetings.

On the internet social networks, resentment also spread at the images of people standing together, some without protection for their mouths and noses. For example, a Twitter user asked how he should explain to his students “that you have to pay fines in the triple-digit range when you meet three friends, but crown deniers can move around town for hundreds of people protected by the law. policeman”. without mask and distance? “

Well known ZDF host Dunja Hayali urged on twitter also from the police and the state that the rules are observed. “Will they demonstrate for whatever / whatever. The climate, world peace, nuclear energy, the pandemic. But can the rules be obeyed? Or can I at least hope that the state (@PP_Stuttgart) obey the rules? Or only in case of violence? Or only at the kitchen table? # S0304 “

Chief detective and activist Oliver von Dobrowolski had clear words for the behavior of his peers: “Everything that has been seen so far about # s0304 confirms the fears: Crown deniers and lateral thinkers march without shame and without interruption, at the same time as the police arrest the counter-protesters “.

The police spokesman is dissatisfied himself

Stuttgart police spokesman Stefan Keilbach said: “This is not a satisfactory situation for us as a policeman.” On the one hand there is freedom of assembly, on the other hand, protection against infection. Officials did not intervene to prevent more people from crowding the site. In the evening, the police headquarters announced that 254 violations of the crown had been punished.

The police had been working with hundreds of forces in various places in the city since the morning because ten concentrations had been registered. The officers were supported by the federal police and police officers from North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. There were significant traffic obstructions during the elevator.

According to the police, 20 people allegedly belonging to the rock band were registered in front of the town hall at noon. Quartz gloves, fireworks and ski masks were seized. A police officer was slightly injured. Those affected were expelled.

Attacks on journalists

The police reported new incidents after the demonstration: three officers were injured while avoiding a clash of protesters and counter-protesters. Several parked vehicles were damaged. A pyrotechnic object was thrown into an elevator, no one was injured.

According to the police, an investigation is being launched against the leader of the meeting, which began in the morning at Marienplatz. In addition, partially masked counter-protesters tried to prevent the train to Cannstatter Wasen. They stood with bicycles or sat on Federal Highway 14. The police broke up the crowd. The agents took hundreds of personal data.

A 37-year-old man was arrested for allegedly hitting a journalist, police said. The German Association of Journalists (DJV) complained of various attacks on journalists. The SWR, for example, reported that a television crew had interrupted a change to the Tagesschau24 station. Read more here

DJV Bundeschef Frank Überall said: “I am furious at the obvious inaction of the police officers who do nothing to protect our colleagues.” Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) commented on the attacks on Twitter: “It has nothing to do with freedom of demonstration. This is a cowardly attack on freedom of the press!”

The authorities had initially assumed 2,500 participants in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 6,000 applicants. The so-called seven-day incidence in the state capital has fluctuated for days around a value of 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a week, in most cases. days the value a little more than 100.

The State Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Baden-Württemberg is watching the “lateral thinking” movement. The authority assigns various actors to the midst of “Reich citizens” and “self-administrators” who, among other things, deny democratic and constitutional structures. The “lateral thinking” movement rejects these accusations.

Last summer, up to 10,000 people demonstrated in Wasen. More recently, on March 20, a demonstration in Kassel with more than 20,000 people made headlines: only 6,000 were allowed. Sometimes there were violent clashes.