Riot in front of reichstag – sharp criticism from politicians

Riot in front of reichstag - sharp criticism from politicians

German president frank-walter steinmeier and politicians of all parties have strongly condemned the advance of demonstrators on the stairs of the reichstag building in berlin on saturday evening.

Steinmeier announced on sunday: "reich flags and right-wing extremist polemics in front of the german parliament are an unertrable attack on the heart of our democracy. We will never accept this."He thanked the police officers "who acted with great prudence in a difficult situation". On monday, steinmeier plans to meet with officials involved in the operation at his official residence, bellevue palace.

About 300 to 400 demonstrators had overcome barriers at the reichstag building in berlin on saturday evening, police said in their statement. They stormed up the stairs and set up triumphantly and loudly in front of the glassed-in visitors’ entrance. The black, white and red reich flags used by the so-called reichsburgers were also seen, as well as other flags. Initially, only three police officers stood up to the loud crowd.

After a while came reinforcement. "The persons were therefore unable to enter the reichstag."The police pushed people back, also with the help of pepper spray. Exactly how the mishap occurred was not explained. The police had been assembled at the time on the southern side of the reichstag, it hewed. This phase was exploited.

Earlier, according to initial estimates by police on saturday, just under 40.000 people from all over germany largely peaceful on the road of 17. June demonstrations against corona policy. According to the police, there were many more demonstrators at other events in the city center. In the balance sheet of sunday, the police did not give a concrete number, but only spoke of several tens of thousands of people on the street of 17. June.

On the sidelines there were attacks by reichsburgers and right-wing extremists on police officers, especially in front of the russian embassy near the brandenburg gate. Stones and bottles were thrown from a crowd of 3000 people.

33 policemen were injured. 316 people were arrested, the police said. There were 131 charges of assaulting police officers, resisting arrest, freeing prisoners, insulting, assaulting and violating the weapons law.

President steinmeier emphasized: "our democracy is alive."Anyone who disagrees with the corona measures or doubts their necessity can do so, even openly, even in demonstrations. "My understanding ends where demonstrators allow themselves to be harnessed to the carts of enemies of democracy and political agitators."

Bundestag president wolfgang schauble (CDU) told the deutsche presse-agentur: "after these scenes, the last person should have understood that there are also limits to decency, to what extent you support who goes along with you. No one can escape the responsibility of not being instrumentalized by extremists in their protests."The fact that this attack could have happened at all "must be dealt with quickly and comprehensively".

Federal minister of the interior horst seehofer (CSU) spoke in "bild am sonntag" of the symbolic of liberal democracy. "It is unacceptable that chaos and extremists abuse it for their own purposes." Aubenminister heiko maas (SPD) tweeted: "reichsflaggen vor parlament sind beschamend." SPD candidate for chancellor olaf scholz wrote: "nazi symbols, reichsburg& imperial flags have no place at all in front of the german parliament." The CDU leader annegret kramp-karrenbauer appeared "really angry". Afd faction leader alice weidel called the incidents "unacceptable".

SPD faction leader carsten schneider announced: "tomorrow I will request a special meeting of the council of elders to review the plans for the establishment of a security zone and to ensure a rapid implementation."Bundestag president schauble must talk to the berlin senate about the security concept. If necessary, the federal government must secure the bundestag itself.

The german journalists union (dju) deplored attacks on journalists from the right, but also obstructions by the police.

The initiator of the rough demonstration, michael ballweg of the stuttgart initiative querdenken, distanced himself from the rioters. "They have nothing to do with our movement."Lateral thinking is a peaceful and democratic movement, there is no place for violence. He does not understand, however, why the senator of the interior of berlin "does not have the appropriate police forces to counter such actions" – especially since these had been known beforehand, ballweg said. "Why is he not able to protect the building?"

Videos circulating on the internet show well over a hundred cheering and rumbling people standing for minutes on and above the rough staircase directly in front of the reichstag tur. In addition to the reich flag, german, american and russian flags, as well as transparent ones, can also be seen. Three police officers try to keep the crowd at bay by brandishing batons. In the background a man shouts: "we are peaceful, we are peaceful.Another man yells: "madness, madness"."

The berlin police spokesman, thilo cablitz, attempted to explain this evening: "we can’t always be present everywhere, but precisely this gap was used to climb over the barrier here, to break through it, and then to get onto the stairs in front of the reichstag."

Berlin’s interior senator andreas geisel (SPD) thanked the police "for quickly putting an end to this spook and also the three police officers who had first stood in the way of the demonstrators. "That was very brave."On saturday evening geisel had reported that about 300 people had been arrested during the day, about 200 during the attacks in front of the russian embassy alone.

The police were deployed with around 3000 officers from various federal states and the federal police. Also arrested in front of the russian embassy was the vegan cookbook author attila hildmann, who calls himself "ultra-right" and a conspiracy preacher.

After the police had originally banned the demonstrations, only courts gave permission. The first demonstration procession on saturday afternoon the police did not like to start, because the minimum distances for infection control were not observed. In the afternoon, however, tens of thousands of people could be seen on the strabe des 17. June demonstrate in the tiergarten. On display was a wide mix of burgers, including young and old as well as families with children. On transparent, they demanded the resignation of the federal government as well as an end to the protective measures and everyday restrictions because of the corona pandemic. The crowd chanted "we are the people" over and over again.

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