WITHSudden elevators, surrounded by protesters: In Leipzig, police deployed a large contingent to keep critics of Corona measures and anti-protesters at bay. Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday for a rally of opponents of Corona’s policy, which was then canceled shortly. In the city center, opposing camps met over and over again, as police posted on Twitter. The situation was sometimes confusing.
“The approved meetings were calm and peaceful. But then a dynamic situation developed in several places in the city center, ”said police spokesman Olaf Hoppe. It was a difficult situation for the police. By evening, however, the situation had calmed down.
According to police, there were also isolated attacks on stone-shaped emergency services. The final balance is likely to be possible only on Sunday, a spokesman said. However, there were crimes, especially in the area of bodily injuries.
As can be seen in the videos of WELT reporter Martin Heller, police had difficulty separating Antifa protesters, right-wing groups and opponents of Corona measures. There was a shootout. Police used irritating gas.
Leipzig Mayor Burkhard Jung spoke of the “cat and mouse game”. The SPD politician spoke of a completely different situation than in the “lateral thinking” demonstration in Leipzig two weeks ago, which spiraled out of control, and the well-coordinated strategy between the police and parliamentary authorities.
The announced gathering of critics of Corona’s policy was surprisingly canceled in the afternoon, even though there were already hundreds of people there. The leader of the meeting withdrew the registration after the parliamentary authorities did not accept his “incomplete confirmation of the release of the mask”, according to the police. Police had previously fenced off access as the space reached its maximum capacity with 500 people.
At the same time, there were large counter-protests. The action network “Leipzig is taking place”, which had registered rallies at three central locations in the city, spoke with 4,000 participants during the day. After the cancellation of the demonstration with the crown, various groups spread in the city center.
Police brought water cannons to the position
Police were on duty with officials from several states, setting up water cannons and clearing tanks. In the afternoon, a police helicopter circled over the city. Officials also used obstacles.
There were unsanctioned spontaneous meetings in the evening. According to a police spokesman, several hundred opponents of the corona policy participated in the market area and Große Fleischergasse, as well as Windmühlenstraße. According to police, anti-protesters gathered in neighboring streets. “Our colleagues are separating them and preventing such a meeting,” police said on Twitter. After observing the DPA photographer, police also used pepper spray.
Later, the police finally dragged the besieged participants to the train station in small groups – the masks were worn only sporadically. With anti-protesters in neighboring streets, police have finally opened the way, a police spokesman said. Left-wing lawmakers criticized Twitter for failing to establish their identity. A police spokesman said there were identity checks.
“Very confusing situation”
According to a dpa reporter on the spot, a spontaneous anti-fascist demonstration took place in the city center in the afternoon with about 200 participants. Another gathering of a leftist camp near Thomaskirche was soon after surrounded by police.
Hoppe police spokesman sometimes spoke of the “very confusing” situation in the city. “He tried from the autonomous scene to get into a physical confrontation with the opponent,” he said. The other side tried to push through the elevator. There were a lot of people in various places. “However, no meeting was approved,” a spokesman said.
According to Lord Mayor Jung, there were also “passenger movements” from Thuringia to a gathering of opponents of the canceled corona measures. According to the politician, several right-wing extremists, including hooligans and supporters of camaraderie, gathered at the main train station. Half of them left again. The Saxon Office for the Protection of the Constitution has already reported in advance that both right and left extremist camps are being mobilized.
According to preliminary police information, two people were arrested Saturday night near a demonstration in Leipzig. In the area of the city, 18 criminal acts were found during the action, according to the police administration in Leipzig. These are bodily injuries and breaches of the peace. Nine suspects have been identified. Police did not provide any further information at first.
44 warnings and 113 advertisements were issued for violating the Ordinance on the protection of the Saxon crown. According to the police, after the attack on the journalist, a report was filed ex officio against unknown persons. During the service, one police officer was slightly injured.
Two weeks earlier, a demonstration of “side thinking” in Leipzig sparked outrage and fierce political debate. At least 20,000 people from all over Germany came to Leipzig to protest the crown’s restrictions. Hardly anyone complied with the mask requirement.
The city interrupted the rally. After that, people were forced to walk through the Leipziger ring. Police tried to stop her, but eventually let her go. The rally, which was finally canceled this Saturday, was not registered with “side thinking”.
Opponents of the coronation measures took to the streets of several other German cities on Saturday. There were several hundred of them in Hanover, Bochum, Göppingen and Pforzheim. More than 900 people participated in a “lateral thinking” rally in the capital of Lower Saxony, and more than 300 participated in counter-rallies. In the area of the “side thinker” demonstration, pyrotechnics were set on fire, probably by opponents, but the police kept the situation under control. In Berlin, several thousand opponents of the corona policy from the federal and state governments want to take to the streets again this Sunday.