Dachau: Why “walkers” are allowed to march on – Dachau

Unlike in Munich, there will be no general decree in the Dachau district for the time being that prohibits unannounced gatherings against the corona measures. District Administrator Stefan Löwl (CSU) does not see sufficient legal reasons for this. In the district of Dachau, in contrast to the state capital, there have so far not been any criminal offenses during the so-called “walks”. That is why unannounced demonstrations continue to enjoy the protection of freedom of assembly, he stated in a conversation with the administration, police and politicians. Furthermore, the district administrator rejected the counter-demonstrators, who had wished for greater protection for their registered rally.

“The so-called strollers use open sides of the right of assembly politically,” said Löwl. These would call the rule of law into question with “provocations”. But as long as the hundreds of people moving around did not name a meeting leader, it would be difficult to get hold of them. And as long as the so-called “strollers remain peaceful” and simply commit an administrative offense by failing to register, the dissolution of a meeting is disproportionate. It is true that property damage occurred during a first “walk” in Indersdorf in December – the market community had to remove stickers that were critical of vaccinations and anti-democratic as well as graffiti that harmed dictatorship. However, that alone is not enough to restrict freedom of assembly, said Löwl.

“We don’t want an escalation”

Ludwig Gasteiger from the Kreisjugendring, who also took part in the conversation, pointed out the dangers and potential for radicalization of the “walks”. He demanded that competing assemblies in the same place should be separated from each other. “We don’t want an escalation,” said Gasteiger. It is therefore important that a registered demonstration in the space allocated to it is not displaced by an unannounced meeting.

The Dachau police chief Thomas Rauscher said that the police would be happy if demonstrations were properly registered. “If 300 people with their children are out and about in the dark unannounced, then there is a certain potential for accidents.” However, the police protect all gatherings, including those that have not been announced. For the officials it is difficult to check on the spot which people belong to a household and therefore do not have to keep a distance from one another.

The second mayor of Karlsfeld, Stefan Handl (CSU), gave a brief but impressive report on his experiences during the past “walk” in his community. “Even if it appears that normal citizens are going for a walk with small children, there is a clear hardening of the fronts,” said Handl. He was on site with several local council members to get in touch with those taking part in the unannounced move. “We tried to start a conversation, but were rejected rather harshly.” It is all the more important that actions from the middle of society and the bourgeois camp show that there is still trust in political decision-makers and scientists, according to Handl. District Administrator Löwl also referred several times to the task of civil society to advocate compliance with the democratic rules of the game. Ultimately, however, over 110,000 people in the district were vaccinated, while only around 500 people went to the “walks”. Sometimes a movement is shown that doesn’t really exist.

Gasteiger asked to take a closer look at who the masterminds of such demonstrations were. “I find it difficult to downplay it when not only AfD politicians march, but also members of right-wing rocker clubs and people from the area around the former ‘Free Network South’, the support environment of the NSU. All of this is no longer fun.” This is the context of the “walks” and it is necessary to show a clear political edge. The counter-demonstrators are currently in a difficult position. “The vast majority of people who find the Corona measures sensible can hardly be brought onto the streets at the moment.”

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