Stuttgart bans AfD anti-coronavirus lockdown protest due to violence fears

A large, anti-coronavirus lockdown demonstration planned by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party in the south-western German city of Stuttgart has been banned by the city council due to fears of violence.

The Stuttgarter Zeitung reports that the protest was planned for Saturday, but will now no longer be allowed to go ahead. 

The demonstration was set to feature AfD leader Alice Weidel, with organisers expecting 500 people. The protesters were to demand that all coronavirus lockdown measures be lifted. 

READ: What's the latest on coronavirus in Germany and what do I need to know?

The city said although freedom of assembly rights must be protected, fears of violence as well as the need to prioritise hygiene measures meant that the event could not go ahead. 

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Mayor Martin Schairer of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) said the city was expecting “provocations, disruptions and violent clashes between participants – as well as counter demonstrations.” 

“In this case, infection protection trumps freedom of assembly”. 

READ: Germany concerned coronavirus protests may lead to radicalisation 

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass has warned citizens against getting involved in the protests, which have become a hub for far-right activists and conspiracy theorists. 

“Whoever shouts into the world without a mask, without keeping minimum distance and while only considering conspiracy theories, confuses courage with blind anger and freedom with pure selfishness,” Mass told DPA.

Stuttgart has been host to some of the largest anti-coronavirus protests in the country, with numbers reaching more than 10,000. 

Depending on the state, the maximum allowed at protests is either 50 or 80 in Germany, due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions. 

 


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  1. I would be interested in challenging any protester, who is against the measures of protecting lives and spreading disease selfishly to others, to go and work unprotected in a Covid-19 hospital ward (not just a couple of hours, I mean as their real job +8 hrs a day for weeks on end…).

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