The city of Berlin has taken another step towards shutting down the fundamental rights of German citizens.
Earlier today the city’s socialist-green administration announced it was cancelling this coming Saturday’s planned anti-Corona restrictions demonstration, where tens of thousands were expected to turn out and protest.
Rights not “temporarily restricted”
In a press release, Michael Ballweg, founder of the initiative QUERDENKEN-711, wrote he was “shocked over the ban of the demonstration” – which was to go under the banner “Assembly for Freedom”.
“My fear in April 2020, in the context of the pandemic, basic rights were not just temporarily restricted, has now been confirmed,” Ballweg said.
Mass police deployment instead
Meanwhile the Berlin authorities have promised to deploy a “massive police presence” to deter demonstrators from showing up in violation of the ban.
Berlin state interior minister Andreas Geisel said, “This is not a decision against the freedom of assembly, it is a decision for protection against infection.”
“Such behavior is unacceptable,” Geisel said in the statement, with regards to the earlier mass gathering of August 1st. “I am not prepared to accept a second time when Berlin is misused as a stage for corona-virus deniers, Reichsbuerger and right-wing extremists,” he said.
Constitutional rights being denied
But organizer Michael Ballweg accused Geisel of acting because of “the mindset of the participants.”and not for public health reasons.
Dissidents claim that the measures used by the government to combat the spread of the virus directly violate Articles 1, 2 and 5 of Germany’s Basic Law, which, among others, define the fundamental individual rights guaranteed to German citizens. Critics accuse the authorities of stripping away fundamental rights under the guise of public health.
Risk the ban will backfire
On August 1st, tens of thousands turned out to protest the loss of freedom due to COVID-19 restrictions. The number of protesters took German politicians by surprise, and now appear to be getting wary of growing wave of protests sweeping the country. The ban however, may wind up only exacerbating the discontent instead of subduing it. Die Welt journalist Ulf Poschardt tweeted:
Anyone celebrating the (possibly correct) ban of a demonstration has not really understood democracy, and shouldn’t be surprised at the poisoned atmosphere in the country.”
Free speech under attack worldwide
Lately there have been disturbing signs of rising speech tyranny not only in Germany, but across the western democracies.
Three recent examples emerged in the North America. Earliers this week Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called President Trump and GOP lawmakers”enemies of the state“.
University speech control
Another example: The University of Colorado said campus statements on “sensitive topics” like race, climate change must be run past through University President Mark Kennedy’s office first. But thankfully on Monday that idea was slammed by a CU regent and the chair of the systemwide Faculty Council as “a move to control speech”.
“Climate denial a crime”
Canadian PhD reporter Gerald Cutney said “not agreeing with our scientific theory is a crime” and: “We will never debate those that disagree with our theory because they are criminals”.
"not agreeing with our scientific theory is a crime"— Jon Saxon (@jonsaxon67) August 24, 2020
"we will never debate those that disagree with our theory because they are criminals"
Anyone who thinks this has ANYTHING to do with science, should get a refund from their school, for not teaching them basic science. https://t.co/r4sryGR7X4
When free speech and opinion become “criminal” or worthy of bans, then it’s high time to get loud and send out a message that infringing this fundamental right and others is not going to be accepted.