German city wants to ban demos after huge, mask-free Easter rally

The German city of Stuttgart, the site of a huge demonstration over the Easter holidays by members of the so-called Querdenken (Lateral Thinking) movement, wants to ban two upcoming planned events that were registered by the group.

Mayor Frank Nopper said that participants in the last demonstration on Holy Saturday that had attracted 15,000 participants had been “unreliable” when it came to sticking to the rules that had been put in place to guarantee the right to freedom of assembly.

The Querdenken movement is made up of Covid-19 deniers, right-wing activists and anti-vaccination campaigners.

They are planning two demonstrations to take place on April 17.

Most of the participants at the last rally refused to wear face masks or keep a safe physical distance. The decision by the city not to break up the demonstration, even as more than 1,000 police officers stood by on duty, led to hefty backlash.

At the time, Nopper had defended the decision to grant permission to the demonstration. However, in the view of authorities and legal experts, it could have been banned.

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