This content is not available in your region

Concern in Germany over radical elements at COVID restrictions protest

Access to the comments Comments
By Jona Källgren
Protestors attend a demonstration against coronavirus restrictions and compulsory vaccinations, in Lubeck, Germany, on Jan. 10, 2022.
Protestors attend a demonstration against coronavirus restrictions and compulsory vaccinations, in Lubeck, Germany, on Jan. 10, 2022.   -   Copyright  Bernd W'uestneck / dpa-Zentralbild / AP

Hundred of protestors marched through the streets of Bautzen near Dresden to protest against the German government's COVID restrictions.

The town's mayor, Alexander Ahrens, has some sympathy for people wanting to express their disapproval of the current COVID-19 rules.

But he says he's concerned that the same people, week after week, are ending up at the same protests as right-wing extremists.

"You can be against the corona rules," Ahrens told Euronews. "And it can happen that you invertedly end up on a demonstration where 100 or 150 neo-Nazis are. 

"But when you have seen that once or twice then you must think: 'Do I really want to be together on the streets with Nazis? Do I want to demonstrate with Nazis?' I say really clearly, that is not okay, that is not in order."

His views were echoed by Professor Swen Hutter, from the Freie Universität in Berlin, who said that "the danger is coming from the radicalisation within the movement".

"We have noticed a lot more calls for violence, against officeholders, against journalists, and against other representatives of the so-called ruling opinions. And there we can see danger," he went on.