MWith a ban, supporters of Ukraine hope to prevent the pro-Russian motorcade planned for Sunday in Frankfurt. According to reports, several criminal complaints were received by the city administration as the assembly authority and by the Frankfurt police headquarters on Wednesday. It is pointed out that the demonstration serves to disrupt public security and order. Specifically, reference is made to Section 140 of the Criminal Code, which punishes the reward and approval of criminal offenses – including war crimes. Such approval is seen in the attempt to drive a convoy of vehicles through the city and downplay the Russian war of aggression, they say.
Meanwhile, it remained unclear on Wednesday whether the Frankfurt Assembly Authority will issue a ban or allow the demonstration under certain conditions. As was heard from the public order office in the evening, the cooperation talks with the applicant for the demonstration “went intensively”, but remained without result. It will continue on Thursday. After that, it will be decided how the city will continue to position itself.
Ban may be difficult to enforce
In the end, a ban may also be difficult to enforce because the title of the demonstration deals with “discrimination against Russians” but does not call for war. For a ban it would have to be proven that the goal of the rally was different. According to the security authorities, however, it cannot be ruled out that sympathizers of the Russian regime will take part in the motorcade and ultimately dominate the demonstration. The further assessment on Thursday will therefore be decisive.
In the event of conditions, it would be possible for the planned route of the motorcade to be changed. Instead of driving through the city center to the main cemetery, as desired, where flowers are to be laid on the graves of people from the former Soviet Union, the column could also be led around the city.
But even if the parade is allowed, it is unclear whether the approximately 500 expected vehicles will be able to drive at all. There are now several registrations for counter-protests. So demonstrators want to occupy places along the route to prevent the elevator from there. The police are preparing for a large-scale operation to prevent a clash between pro-Russian actors and Ukrainians.
The Interior Ministry says the police are currently observing the pro-Russian scene and are also evaluating comments on messenger services and social networks. After the experiences with the motorcades in Berlin and Bonn one is “sensitized”.
The messenger service Telegram in particular is calling for a motorcade in Frankfurt to protest against alleged discrimination against Russians living in Germany. However, there are also several petitions on the Internet that urge the rally to be banned. Criticism of the planned motorcade also comes from the Russian community in Hesse itself.
For example, an alliance of Russians and Belarusians living in the Rhine-Main area who are critical of the Kremlin government wants to demonstrate. “We mustn’t leave Frankfurt to pro-war advocates who want to parade through our city with waving Russian flags,” says Dimitry Peters, who is involved in the Peremen FFM group, an association of Frankfurters with Russian roots. He accuses the participants of the motorcade of wanting to “celebrate the Russian war of aggression, the genocide and the suffering in Ukraine”. It is important to take a stand against it.
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