German critics of the Corona measures are now almost routinely denied the basic right to gather peacefully in the open air. Anyone who wants to hold a counter-demonstration against such rallies can also expect it to be approved.
This was the case on Saturday in Kassel. A planned demonstration by opponents of the vaccine measures was banned – their opponents, on the other hand, were allowed to march unhindered. At the same time, there was also a “temporary” mask requirement in downtown Kassel to target potential demonstrators. The suspicion was confirmed that arbitrary rules are deliberately being applied in order to hinder critics of Merkel’s official Corona policy.
The competent administrative court ruled that anti-Covid measures “will again be violated when the registered meeting is held”. The local newspaper HNA quoted the judges : “Since the applicant assumes around 3000 participants, the police cannot effectively counter such violations. Therefore, there is a ‘danger to life and limb of the general public through the further spread of the delta variant of the Coronavirus’.”
At the same time, 65 000 participants were counted at the Christopher Street Day (CSD), an annual European LGBTQ+ celebration and demonstration held in various cities across Europe, and Germany’s and Switzerland’s version of Gay Pride or Pride Parades.
The LGBTQ adherents were able to take to the streets in Berlin. And non-compliance with the hygiene rules was apparently not a problem there at all. Previously anti-Corona measures had been strictly applied to government critics at demonstrations in the capital. And such participants without a mask were regularly taken into police custody.
German media, notably the Tagesschau on ARD misled its viewers by fading in a picture in the introduction under which it was written that there had been a distance requirement. But actual footage of the event showed a completely different picture. The reporter on site even claimed that most of the participants had complied with the mask requirement, which turned out to be a bare-faced lie.
Despite this completely obvious two-tier right to demonstrate, the spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Federal Press Conference regularly reminds his audience how important, indeed sacred, the right to demonstrate is to them. He once also complained bitterly about other countries in which anti-vax demonstrations critical of the government had been banned.
If double standards were drops of water, the Chancellery and many of the authorities responsible for rallies would have to be closed due to flooding…
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