Triumphant protesters with imperial flags on the steps of parliament: The incidents during the Corona protests are causing a stir. Politics requires clarification.
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After the march of protesters on the steps of the Reichstag building, the question arises about the police tactics and the consequences for the security concept. How could it happen that Saturday, on the sidelines of the demonstrations against the Corona policy in Berlin, 300 to 400 government critics, “Reichs” and right-wing extremists were able to overcome barriers to the seat of the Bundestag and occupy the stairs? Should the security measures be tightened now?
The Berlin Senator of the Interior Andreas Geisel (SPD) and the police leadership have to answer questions about the use in the demonstrations in the Internal Committee of the House of Representatives on Monday. In the Bundestag, the SPD and the political groups of the Union want to call for a special meeting of the Council of Elders to review plans to establish a security zone in Parliament. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also wants to receive police officers who have been deployed at the parliament building in his official residence at Bellevue Palace. Initially, only three officials struggled to keep the crowd away from the entrance to the plenary building.
Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) called it in the ARD “Tagesthemen” “despicable what happened there”. In general, the Berlin police “handled the case well”. He wondered if she should have been better prepared: “How do you want to be prepared for this?” He asked rhetorically. Schäuble had previously told the German news agency that the attack could have happened at all and that it “needed to be dealt with quickly and comprehensively”.
Steinmeier and politicians from all parties, including the AfD, had condemned the protesters’ actions. “Reich flags and right-wing extremist mobs for the German Bundestag are an excruciating assault on the heart of our democracy. We will never accept that,” Steinmeier said.
On Sunday he had already thanked the police, “who acted extremely carefully in a difficult situation”. The Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller (SPD) and Senator for the Interior Geisel, made similar statements. “I thank the police for putting an end to this haunted house quickly,” said Geisel.
No more demos for the Reichstag?
Left party leader Dietmar Bartsch suggested honoring the police officers who initially only secured the entrance to parliament. Regarding one of three who had opposed the crowd without a helmet, he said on ZDF, “This is actually someone who has earned a Federal Cross of Merit.”
Müller now wants to “evaluate how the police operation concept can be improved”. But he also wrote on Twitter, “With caution and a concept that set clear boundaries, the police could prevent worse things in many places in the city.”
Federal politicians from the CSU and the Greens suggested expanding restrictions on demonstrations in the immediate vicinity of the Bundestag. The CSU’s right-wing politician Volker Ullrich suggested that the de facto ban on demonstrations should no longer be limited to the days of parliamentary sessions – “with the option of allowing exceptions,” as he told the “world.” The green representative Konstantin von Notz also sees a need for action. However, Secretary of State for the Interior Stephan Mayer (CSU) said, “I see no immediate need to expand the ban-mile around the Reichstag or tighten regulations because of this admittedly excruciating and embarrassing incident.”
Police say about 300 to 400 protesters crossed the barriers of the Reichstag building on Saturday evening and lined up triumphantly and noisily in front of the glass visitor entrance. Black, white and red imperial flags flew for the heart of democracy. After a while, the first three police officers were reinforced, and the officers also used pepper spray to push people back.
According to police estimates, nearly 40,000 people from across Germany had previously demonstrated largely peacefully on the Strasse des 17 June against the Corona policy. Overall, there were significantly more protesters at other events in the city center, according to police. On the edge, stones and bottles were thrown by “Reichsbürgern” and right-wing extremists at police officers.
Camp Corona is closed
According to the police, 33 police officers were injured in the demonstrations on Saturday. 316 people were arrested, 131 reported. A total of 3,000 police officers were deployed.
Corona opponents failed late Sunday night when they tried to force a protest camp at the Federal Constitutional Court at Straße des 17. June. Berlin’s higher administrative court had previously upheld a ban on the assembly authority. The Karlsruhe judges did not see protection against infection as guaranteed.
Thomas Oppermann, Vice President of the Bundestag, advised against banning the often displayed Reich flags. Those with a swastika are banned, he told the “Rheinische Post”. To ban all variants and variants of this flag with criminal penalties would be disproportionate and not an appropriate tool to combat right-wing ideas.