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Set limits for lateral thinkers and neo-Nazis, protect democracy


After yesterday's demonstration of "Querdenker*innen" and neo-Nazis in Halberstadt, Miteinander e.V. demands a rethink by police and politicians: "This march in front of the residence of Halberstadt's mayor Daniel Szarata represents a threatening border crossing," said Pascal Begrich, executive director of Miteinander e.V. on Tuesday in Magdeburg. "Such an escalation must have consequences - for those involved as well as the police and political assessment of the 'Corona protests'."

"Our solidarity goes to Daniel Szarata, his family and all committed people who are threatened by actors of the 'Corona protests'," Pascal Begrich continued. "Not only the events in Halberstadt have made the radicalization and threat potential of the protests clear. Local politicians*, journalists* and critics* of the weekly marches are repeatedly targeted by 'lateral thinking' and the extreme right. They must be effectively protected."

Torsten Hahnel from the Center for Right-Wing Extremism at Miteinander e.V. added: "The escalation is not surprising. In numerous places in Saxony-Anhalt, the almost daily public gatherings are accompanied and often led by known neo-Nazis. In Halberstadt, it is the militant neo-Nazi group 'Harzrevolte' that has been dominant and visible to all from the beginning. For weeks, it has been at the head of the demonstrations, carrying a banner with the inscription 'The government is the virus' and, on several occasions, flares and Bengal fires. The lack of demarcation from such slogans and actors by the mass of protest participants* has obviously contributed to the current escalation."

Mayor Szarata had repeatedly sought dialogue with representatives of the "Corona protests" in recent weeks. David Begrich, also a staff member of the Center for Right-Wing Extremism, commented: "As necessary as the conversation between politicians and critics of the Corona containment measures is, it must be carefully examined to whom the offers of conversation are made. Anyone who spreads conspiracy narratives or threatens politicians and vaccination advocates cannot be a dialogue partner."

David Begrich added: "In view of the radicalization of the 'Corona protests', there is also a need for consistent police action against the constant disregard for conditions and the threatening behavior of some of the protesters. They must no longer be left to take the streets."