Germany’s top court bans coronavirus ‘protest camp’

Germany's top court bans coronavirus 'protest camp'
Protesters at Saturday's demo in Berlin. Photo: DPA
Germany’s constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) on Sunday evening confirmed a ban on event dubbed as a coronavirus protest camp by organisers.

The two-week vigil to protest against Germany’s coronavirus measures was slated to be held from August 30th to September 17th on Straße des 17. Juni.

Initially the local administrative court allowed it to take place. 

The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) Berlin-Brandenburg, however, overruled the decision, stating that such a gathering would pose a threat to public safety, according to Spiegel Online.

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Event participants would not be able to comply with social distancing measures, which require 1.5 metre distance between people.

The applicant, who organised one of Berlin’s anti-coronavirus demonstrations on Saturday, did not show a sufficient hygiene concept, ruled the constitutional court, nor how it could be carried out over 14 days.

Ongoing debate over anti-corona protests

At the weekend, Berlin police called off a protest against coronavirus restrictions, saying protesters had not worn masks, as required by a court. 

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Police in Berlin halt anti-coronavirus protest

The local government had initially banned the event, but this sparked outrage from organisers and their supporters who flooded social media with angry messages vowing to protest anyway, with some even calling for violence.

Then the eve of the demo, Berlin's administrative court sided with the demonstrators, saying there was no indication that organisers would “deliberately ignore” social distancing rules and endanger public health.

At the start of August, a similar “anti-corona” march in Berlin took place with 20,000 protesters, a mixture of the hard left and right, anti-vaccination campaigners, conspiracy theorists and self-described “free thinkers”.
   
Police broke up the protest early after participants repeatedly flouted Covid-19 safety regulations.
 
While Germany has fared better than most European countries in its fight to stem the spread of the coronavirus, it has recently seen an uptick in cases at a daily rate higher than that experienced since April.
 
This had led a sharpening of countrywide regulations, including a €50 fine for not wearing a mask on public transport and in shops, among other rules.
 
 
Vocabulary

prohibit/ban – untersagen 

Threat to public safety – (die) Gefährdung der öffentlichen Sicherheit

Comply with something – (etwas) einhalten 

The applicant – (der) Antragsteller

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