By: Natural News
The mayor of a town in southern Germany issued a decree allowing the use of weapons to suppress anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown protesters. He argued that such a method constituted a “proportionate and necessary” response against demonstrators.
Ostfildern Mayor Christof Bolay issued the “general decree” banning anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown assemblies on January 26. It took effect on Jan. 28. Bolay’s decree permitted the use of “direct coercion” – including physical violence and the use of weapons – against those protesting against Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines and restrictions.
It is unknown whether the municipal council had any involvement in the issue. The decree stated that the use of weapons and physical violence is “proportionate and necessary” as there are no other means to discourage potential anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown marchers.
“In order to ensure that the ban on assembly is observed, the use of direct coercion, i.e. the influence on people through simple physical violence, tools of physical violence or the use of weapons is … proportionate after weighing up the conflicting interests [and] necessary,” said the Jan. 26 edict.
Interestingly, the town in southern Germany has yet to host any so-called “anti-vaccine walks.” The last recorded “walk” that happened in the town had less than 150 participants in it.
Nevertheless, several politicians in the Bundestag – Germany’s parliament – denounced Bolay’s decree.
Bundestag member Jan Korte of the Left Party slammed the order as “simply unconstitutional, completely disproportionate and characterized by an authoritarian understanding of the state.” He added: “The freedom of assembly and demonstration is an integral part of the democratic constitutional state.”
Alice Weidel, who leads the right-wing Alternative for Germany party, said that leaders such as Bolay “are going on a dangerous [and] wrong path that threatens the rule of law and democracy.” She reiterated that “blanket bans and threats of violence are a disproportionate and illegal attack on a central right to freedom.” (Related: Josh Sigurdson talks about worldwide protests against Covid vaccine mandates.)
German officials express concern, disdain over protests
Despite opposition by some politicians, other officials concurred with Bolay’s decree. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said of the protests: “The demonstrations are increasing, [but] what is increasing above all is the increased participation of right-wing extremists. Faeser, who is a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, compared the walks as a form of “rebellion against the state.”
Thomas Strobl, the interior minister of Baden-Wurttemberg state where Ostfildern is located, shared his federal counterpart’s sentiments. “Decent citizens do not take part in prohibited demonstrations. They also follow police requests and abide by the rules,” he said.
On the other hand, Bavaria Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann warned against lumping the protests and the protesters together. “It is part of the freedom of expression and assembly that opponents of [coronavirus] measures and critics of compulsory [COVID-19] vaccination can demonstrate,” he said.
Bolay’s edict and the comments by other German politicians about it came as the federal government voiced out its “serious concern” over anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protests in recent weeks. The numerous protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other restrictions are the most widespread in the country’s history.
A report by German newspaper Die Welt said protests against lockdowns and vaccines took place at more than 1,000 locations nationwide in just one day. “The government is concerned about the decentralized actions,” the broadsheet said, quoting one source that called the “immensity” of the protests “depressing.”
Die Welt cited government figures that stated 1,046 separate protests across Germany, with around 188,000 participants, being reported. “Never before in the history of the Federal Republic [of Germany] have there been demonstrations that are more widespread than in the last few weeks.”