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News from Germany and Berlin: 12 December, 2020

Compiled by Ana Ferreira


Anti-lockdown group put under surveillance

The State Office for the Protection of the Consitution in Germany declared that it will begin surveillance on the Querdenker ("lateral thinking") movement. The movement was formally classified as an object of observation as the group has been "infiltrated by extremists." The Querdenker movement has been responsible for organizing some of the largest demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions, including a protest in Leipzig last month, which saw over 20,000 attendees. In the same month, police investigated an attack on a building belonging to the Robert Koch Institute, where a security guard reported witnessing several suspects throw incendiary devices at the building. Source: dw

East German youth open to racist ideas

Right-wing extremism seems to be declining overall in the country, according to a survey conducted every two years since 2002. A closer look at the figures, however, shows the findings are by no means reassuring. The values of East and West Germany are often so far apart that summarising them in a graph might not be the best representation. In East Germany, for example, 43.9 percent of participants fully agree with the statement "Foreigners only come here to exploit our welfare state", compared to 24.5 percent in the West. Politicians have apparently recognised this problem and decided on fighting against extremism and racism in the coming years. Source: taz

Saxony wants to declare AfD a suspected case

By Spring next year at the latest, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution wants to decide whether the AfD as a whole will be upgraded from a test case to a suspect case and thus declared an object of observation. In some federal states, the state offices of the domestic intelligence service have already gone much further. In Brandenburg, for instance, the AfD has been considered a suspect case since June. According to media reports, the new assessment from Saxony is to be based primarily on the fact that solid evidence of right-wing extremist references has been found. Source: nd

Tesla cannot clear pine forest on construction site

Tesla must stop clearing the pine forest at its construction site in Grünheide after all. This was decided by the Higher Administrative Court. This ruling temporarily overturned the decision of the administrative court, which had allowed the clearing shortly before. Tesla wants to build around 500,000 cars of the compact vehicles Model 3 and Model Y annually in a first phase. So far, the company is building on individual provisional permits because the complete environmental permit from the state of Brandenburg is still pending. Conservationists and residents fear negative consequences for the environment. Source: rbb


Artists demonstrate for Corona help

Last Wednesday, a coalition for action called for more effective emergency aid in the pandemic for cultural. The managing director of Künstlerhilfe Jetzt, Klaus Mabel Aschenneller, hopes that the event will increase public understanding. He is demanding a kind of short-time work allowance for self-employed artists. In addition, the artists demand an "immediate start for the development of new start scenarios" for the time after Corona. A central problem for the self-employed is that the basic provision does not work for them once they are not considered unemployed, but on “a pause.“ Source: tagesspiegel

Bicycle lane built for wine shop in Invalidenstraße

The establishment of a bicycle lane on Invalidenstraße is permissible for the time being. This was decided by the Berlin Administrative Court in summary proceedings. The applicant operates a wine shop in Invalidenstrasse. Until now, there was a delivery zone near his shop, which will be removed, as well as parking facilities for motor vehicles, in favour of the bicycle lane. The order is in all probability allowable, it is said. The measure is suitable to reduce dangers related to stationary traffic. Source: morgenpost

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