More mass protests against the ongoing lockdown in response to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak took place in cities across Germany over the weekend. Antifa also assaulted a group of men at a protest in Stuttgart in what was believed to be an attempted murder, while the government is warning that “Right-wing extremists” are trying to exploit the chaos for their own ends.
21 protests were reported across Berlin on Saturday, and 19 on Sunday. Police arrested more than 300 people on Sunday alone for lockdown violations.
In a protest in Stuttgart on Saturday, three middle-aged men were attacked for no reason by masked Left-wing extremists, according to a report by Junge Freiheit. The three men, who were between the ages of 40 and 55, are members of the Right-wing trade union Zentrum Automobil (ZA). A group of approximately 50 extremists surrounded them, beat them up and kicked them, and attacked them with pepper spray before fleeing the scene. One of the extremists shouted “They belong to them!”, and another “They’re dead!”, before the attack.
One of the men was injured so badly that he had to be hospitalised and put into an artificial coma. One of the others said that there is no doubt in his mind that the attack was an attempted murder. The police say they are investigating the crime, but have downplayed the assault in their reports.
— Terrence Daniels (Captain Planet) (@Terrence_STR) May 17, 2020
Members of the ZA union have been a preferred target for Left-wing extremists in the past.
The German government, however, is more concerned about the political Right. Stephen Kramer, the President of the State Agency for the Protection of the Constitution in Thuringia, issued a warning that “Right-wing extremists” are attempting to exploit the lockdown protests for their own ends. He made the accusations in an interview, mentioning the political parties National Democratic Party (NPD), Die Rechte, and Der dritte Weg by name, according to another report by Junge Freiheit.
Kramer believes that Right-wing groups see the pandemic as an opportunity to trigger the collapse of “globalised liberalism” and democracy. He also claimed that they are organising neighbourhood aid programmes and thank-you benefits for emergency personnel in an attempt to curry favour with the public, in addition to “targeted attacks” on public order. He likewise mentioned the Alternative for Germany party in this context for its role in organising lockdown protests. Kramer compared the effect that the protests are having on energising the Right to that of the migrant crisis in 2015.
— SEAN (@SeanCordicon) May 17, 2020
Kramer’s comments were echoed by Thomas Haldenwang, the President of the State Agency for the Protection of the Constitution, which is the government’s watchdog against Right-wing extremism.
The choice of the authorities to focus exclusively on the Right is somewhat baffling in light of the fact that Left-wing extremists have openly stated their intention of exploiting the pandemic for their own political goals by inciting chaos, as previously reported by Voice of Europe.
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