Anti-lockdown protesters have been banned from gathering in Berlin over the weekend by judges who argued that demonstrations may spread the Chinese coronavirus.
The administrative court for the German capital has prohibited 13 protests over the weekend, including those from the Querdenker (Lateral Thinkers) anti-lockdown movement.
The ban was then upheld by Berlin-Brandeburg upper administrative court, German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on Saturday.
The Berlin-Brandeburg upper court claimed that the lockdown protest movement in Germany was characterised “by the fact that the participants used them to violate legal norms created to contain the risk of infection in a way that attracted public attention, in particular by disregarding the social distance requirement and the mask requirement.”
Police spokesman Thilo Cablitz said that the ban will apply to all protests “whose participants regularly do not follow legal regulations, specifically to protect against infections,” claiming that lockdown protesters often refuse to wear masks outside.
The ruling has been met with charges of hypocrisy, as Berlin hosted a 35,000 people strong LGBT Pride parade, backed by the U.S. embassy, just last weekend, without any such court restrictions.
In comparison, the largest Querdenker march was expected to see some 22,500 people attend this weekend.
Despite the ban, protests have already begun to take place in Berlin, with police clashing with protesters:
Bodycheck, Faust und Pfefferspray. Konsequentes Vorgehen der Polizei gegen #Querdenken in Berlin. #b0108 @WELT pic.twitter.com/ABs6XJgqxR
— Martin Heller (@Ma_Heller) August 1, 2021
The anti-lockdown movement in Germany has been severely hampered by state authorities over the past year, with marches being banned by regional courts and organisers even being put under state surveillance over supposed concerns about a connection to extremists.
On Sunday, stricter border controls were enacted in Germany to slow the spread of the Delta (Indian) variant of the Chinese virus, mandating that all travellers entering the country present a negative test for the coronavirus, including by car, train, or ship.
Previous restrictions only impacted those arriving by plane.
Random spot-checks will be put in place on border roads entering the country, with those who fail to present a negative test liable to face hefty fines.
People who have been vaccinated or can prove that they have recovered from the virus will be exempt from the testing requirement, however they will need to provide documentation to this effect.
Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of Staff, Helge Braun, said that “vaccinated people will definitely have more freedoms than unvaccinated people.”
Braun argued that the two-tiered society would be lawful as “the state has the responsibility to protect the health of its citizens.”
Merkel's chief of staff Helge Braun said "vaccinated people will definitely have more freedoms than unvaccinated people" and that this would be lawful because "the state has the responsibility to protect the health of its citizens" https://t.co/eSVvOymphv
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 25, 2021
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