Thursday, May 6, 2021

Germany Keeps Anti-Lockdown Group Under Monitor for Potential Extremist Relations


The country’s Federal Office for Protection (BfV) announced on Wednesday that the new surveillance would focus on some members of the ‘Querdenker’ group.

The movement is promoting coronovirus and vaccine skepticism as well as other conspiracy theories, and has been involved in violent anti-protest protests.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that the Querdenker movement had shown that it is ready to use violence and that the authorities have to defend the rule of law in the country.

“Right-wing extremists are trying to take control [of these events] – “What we cannot bear is violence,” Seehofer said at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday.

Members of the movement – whose name means “thinking outside the box” or “lateral thinking” – have been protesting against lockdown measures since the onset of the epidemic.

Several German states have announced similar steps against the movement in the past. In December last year, the Baden-Württemberg Office for the Protection of the Constitution said that it was monitoring the Kurdenkerk movement.

At the time, the office said the movement was deliberately mixing “extremism, ideological conspiracy and anti-Semitism” with legitimate criticism of state measures to contain the epidemic.

German officials have previously stated that the movement has links to far-flung groups. Baden-Württemberg officials linked the movement to two extremist groups, the Reichsbergerne and the Selbstervelder, which do not recognize the authority of the German government. The office also said that it was becoming clear that the group had links QAnon movement.

During the anti-lockdown protest, members of the Querdenker movement often clashed with police and attacked members of the media.

The decision by BfV comes at a time when more restrictions are in force. Germany is struggling to contain the latest wave of the epidemic. The government on Saturday implemented new “emergency brake” rules for areas with high Kovid-19 infection rates, using a new law that allows the national government to impose lockdowns on states for the first time, state-by-state. Eliminates patchwork. Remedy.

According to the National Agency for Disease and Control Prevention Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany reported 24,736 new coronavirus cases within the last 24 hours on Thursday. The RKI figures also said that the number of deaths in Germany has increased by 264, bringing the total number to 82,544.

Nadine Schmidt reports from Berlin. Ivana Kotasova reported from London and wrote.

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