Police prepare for large-scale operation despite protest bans | Free press

Berlin (dpa) – Despite numerous protest bans, Berlin police are preparing for large rallies of opponents of corona politics this weekend.

Emergency services from other Länder have been called upon to provide assistance; according to the authorities, more than 4,200 police officers are on duty. In addition, the “Train of Love” will cross Berlin on Saturday afternoon, mobilizing additional forces – the organizer is expecting around 10,000 people to attend the demonstration with house and technical music.

Police have banned nine demonstrations by opponents of Corona’s measures, including “lateral thinking initiative” rallies on Straße des 17. Juni. Four urgent petitions against the bans were submitted to the administrative court on Friday afternoon. The judges rejected three requests, one which they accepted in the evening: In the case of a meeting recorded for Saturday and Sunday with 500 participants expected each, no immediate danger to public safety was perceptible, since no bad experience had not yet been made with the applicant. , we said.

In the other three cases, it is decisive that the participants in the meeting are probably unaware of the minimum distances to be observed in order to avoid infections also outside. The deciding factor for this hypothesis are the negative experiences at many meetings of the “side thinkers” scene in the past. Appeals against decisions can be lodged with the Higher Administrative Court Berlin-Brandenburg.

The police assume that a large number of people will not respect the ban on demonstrations. This is why we will “enforce the ban on assembly, be present accordingly and, in particular, protect the government quarter,” he declared. The participants in these rallies and demonstrations would not accept “regular legal regulations (…) to protect themselves against infections”, had justified Thursday the police.

Security authorities are also particularly vigilant as a year ago, on August 29, 2020, tens of thousands of people in Berlin demonstrated against Corona restrictions. In the evening, demonstrators broke a cordon in the Reichstag building, harassed outnumbered security guards and temporarily occupied a staircase in front of an entrance. The images of it sparked widespread outrage and caused a stir internationally as well.

Since then, the number of such events has fallen sharply. However, despite the bans, calls for mass protests continued over the weekend via the internet and courier services. In Telegram channels with thousands of subscribers, supporters broadcast information on how to get there and what to do during police checks. There was also advice to read on the best way to get around Berlin, the apps protesters use to reunite, and whether corona protective masks could also be worn briefly for camouflage.

More recently, on August 1, despite the bans, a few thousand demonstrators marched through the capital and in some cases fought with the police.

But this weekend is not just about corona measurements. With house and techno sounds, the “Train of Love” crosses Berlin on Saturday. The motto is ‘We for you’ and, according to the organizers, should mean ‘to give everyone in this city a sense of recovery from the pandemic and show how diverse Berlin’s culture is’.

The club scene is currently further slowed down by the pandemic and the resulting restrictions. The usual hygiene rules apply to the demo. The planned route begins near Mauerpark, passes through Danziger Straße in the direction of Landsberger Allee and ends at Karl-Marx-Allee. The “Train of Love” has set itself the mission of “setting an example for more charity and social commitment”. “We want to be a demo and not the Love Parade,” spokesman Jens Schwan said.

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