Thousands of demonstrators without masks, riots: the demonstration by coronaventers is causing unrest among the Saxon government parties. A first consequence has now been drawn.
The Saxon state government draws the first conclusions from the demonstration ‘lateral thinking’ that got out of hand in Leipzig. Meetings will be limited to 1,000 participants in the future. If technical and organizational measures are taken, larger events should also be possible, government spokesman Ralph Schreiber said after a cabinet meeting.
So far the Saxon Corona Protection Ordinance does not provide for a restriction of meetings. The new regulation should apply from Friday.
At least 20,000 “silk cherry” gathered in Leipzig on Saturday. According to police, 90 percent of the participants did not wear masks, although they are required at meetings in Saxony. The city of Leipzig dissolved the meeting. Then protesters forced a walk across the Leipziger Ring. The police tried to stop her, but eventually let her go. There was scuffle at the police barriers and fireworks flew. Journalists were also attacked.
Demo causes disagreement in Saxony’s coalition
The government parties in Saxony judge the situation differently. The SPD and the Greens see the relationship with the coalition partner as tense and speak of a “crisis of confidence”. Deputy Prime Minister Martin Dulig (SPD) spoke of a “great burden” for the coalition. It will be the task of the coming days to restore this confidence, said Wolfram Günther (Greens), also deputy to Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU).
The demands for the resignation of Interior Minister Roland Wöller (CDU) followed neither Dulig nor Günther. People are not talking about individual heads, but about concrete facts and things are on the way to be resolved, according to the Green politician. The biggest problem is not Roland Wöller or lateral thinking, but Corona, Dulig emphasizes. However, Dulig called on the CDU to better deal with conflict and criticism.
Also the federal debate
The chaotic processes in Leipzig had sparked heated debate in the federal government over rallies in the pandemic. For example, SPD leader Saskia Esken criticized the actions of the police. CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak objected that Esken had no idea.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier sharply criticized the opponents of the state’s corona policy: “Recklessness is not a right to freedom,” he said in Berlin. “Where tens of thousands of people ignore the demands, make fun of the rules and don’t pay attention from a distance and don’t wear masks, boundaries are being crossed.”