There was no sign-up for another “lateral thinker” march on Saturday, but more than a thousand counter-demonstrators took to the streets.
LEIPZIG taz | In the end, the rally failed due to the invalid medical certificate of a person who refused to wear a mask: Two weeks after the “lateral thinker” demo at the beginning of November, no new demo by corona opponents could be registered on Saturday afternoon in Leipzig. “The applicant could not submit a valid certificate exempting the mask requirement,” said Olaf Hoppe, press spokesman for the Leipzig police, on Saturday afternoon for the taz.
Since the applicant, according to the police, a Magdeburg from the right spectrum, did not want to accept the requirement to wear a mask, he finally decided not to register for the demo. “So we simply have no meeting events here,” said Hoppe. While he was saying this, the group of around 500 corona deniers, some of whom were ideological conspiracies, some openly right-wing extremists, who had gathered until around 3:30 p.m. on Masurplatz behind Leipzig University, fenced in by bars, dissolves behind him.
At the same time, a few hundred meters away, the “Leipzig takes place” alliance called for peaceful counter-protest on Augustusplatz and other central locations in downtown Leipzig. In total, more than a thousand participants protested here, with a repeatedly emphasized focus on maintaining distance and wearing a mask. On the part of the corona deniers, the police had to enforce the mask requirement several times and in the course of the afternoon checked numerous certificates from the participants who refused to wear a mask.
Without mouth and nose protection through the city center
When the canceled anti-corona rally was dissolved, the police let the participants, for the most part, pull unaccompanied in all directions. Several groups drifted through the city center, where there were repeated smaller gatherings and clashes with counter-demonstrators.
Despite the mandatory mask requirement there, the corona opponents in downtown Leipzig often did not wear a mouth and nose protection and did not respond to corresponding requests. The police tried again and again with chains of officials to prevent lateral thinkers and counter-demonstrators from clashing.
For example, a cavalry squadron temporarily separated the counter demo from a spontaneous, unannounced gathering of “lateral thinkers” between Augustusplatz and the pedestrian zone. The fact that the police did not punish violations of the mask requirement and alcohol ban was justified by one of their spokesmen with the priority that is on the separation of the groups and not on the enforcement of administrative offenses. These would be punished if the capacities were there.
In the evening, a spontaneous, unannounced demonstration with around 300 opponents of corona was surrounded by the police. Eyewitnesses reported on Twitterthat the corona opponents were trying to break out of the boiler, keeping their distance was impossible and the police would use tear gas. Even before that, there had been repeated skirmishes between corona opponents and counter-demonstrators. At the time of going to press, the situation in downtown Leipzig was still confusing.