Analysis on Covid protests
Calling Corona critics fools endangers democracy
When critics are considered enemies of democracy simply because they criticize individual measures of the Corona crackdown, it endangers democracy.
By Heribert Prantl
[This article published on 4/11/2021 is translated from the German on the Internet, Analyse zu Covid-Protesten – Wer Corona-Kritiker Dummköpfe nennt, gefährdet die Demokratie | Tages-Anzeiger.]
Each with his weapons: Protesters and police on Saturday in Altdorf.
Democracy lives from criticism, democracy lives from protest; it also lives from the protest of a minority, and precisely when the majority considers the protest to be completely unjustified or excessive.
The protests against nuclear energy, which lasted for years and decades, have shown how an original minority position has become a majority position over time. And it has shown how the protest grew into the power to look for other ways to produce energy.
Criticism of the Corona measures is necessary because it ensures that democracy remains alive during a lockdown.
This teaches: criticism and protest are the resource for the further development of society and democracy. This is a realization not only of the 68 years; but at least since the 68ers, criticism and protest belong to democracy, they are its life core. In defending health and life against the virus, therefore, this core of life must not be damaged.
Criticism of the Corona measures is necessary because it ensures that democracy remains alive during a lockdown. Criticism is salutary because it forces the government to better examine and better justify its measures. Criticism is important because adversity also knows commandments and those commandments must be heeded.
Corona skeptics in front of the Tell monument in Altdorf during an unauthorized demonstration against the Corona measures.
Criticism can be forward-looking, because the goal of all measures restricting fundamental rights must be to make these measures superfluous again as quickly as possible - and this must not be forgotten in the mobilization of the executive against the virus. If critics are regarded as enemies of democracy or simply as fools and troublemakers simply because they criticize individual measures taken to combat Corona, then this endangers democracy. Criticism can, indeed must, ensure that the state of exception really remains an exception.
A hegemonic discourse and a climate in which a society puts on its raincoat, against which all dissent rolls off, can lead to dissidence delirious and the dictatorship already seen bending around the corner. It doesn't. But zeal and the feeling of standing against a powerful mainstream sometimes lead to dangerous and history-blind comparisons; this is not good and harms protest.
Criticism also includes criticism of criticism; critics must also allow themselves to be criticized.
But it can be dangerous to despise protest and to declare critics hastily to be anti-system "lateral thinkers". In doing so, one does a favor to the enemies of democracy, who exist in far too large numbers; they want to channel the energy of the Corona stress to their mills. This works when critics are slagged off. Those who are constantly called idiots because they don't express themselves in such a polished way may really start to become idiots: stubborn and defiant, irrational and antisocial. To declare demonstrators to be idiots across the board is therefore idiotic.
Criticism also includes criticism of criticism; critics must also allow themselves to be criticized. But anyone who defames criticism of individual measures as a disturbance, as a danger to an allegedly healthy basic consensus, must be careful not to do what he denounces on other issues: present his own position as having no alternative. It is not conformism with all government measures that strengthens society in times of crisis, but critical engagement with them.
Court in Weimar bans schools from forced masks and mandatory testing
by Tobias Riegel
[This article published on 4/12/2021 is translated from the German on the Internet, Gericht in Weimar verbietet Schulen Maskenzwang und Testpflicht (nachdenkseiten.de).]
The Weimar Family Court has banned two schools from requiring students to wear masks and take Corona tests - because the children would be harmed "physically, psychologically, pedagogically and in their psychosocial development." At the same time, it was determined that face-to-face instruction must be maintained. There are currently other critical judges' voices on the Corona policy. By Tobias Riegel.
The Weimar Family Court has issued a sensational ruling: it has banned numerous Corona measures at two schools in the city on the grounds of endangering the welfare of the child, while at the same time stipulating that face-to-face teaching must be maintained. The verdict also casts doubt on the validity of Corona tests.
The political-media reaction has been largely dismissive. Some major media do not report at all, others attack the independence of the court or call the ruling "questionable," such as "Focus" in this article.
Ministry of Education: ruling has "no impact whatsoever"
The Ministry of Education in Thuringia has chosen to largely ignore the ruling. According to media reports, the Ministry of Education in Erfurt believes the ruling has "no impact whatsoever on Thuringia."
According to the report, the ministry said the April 8 ruling "has not been properly announced to date and also raises serious procedural doubts. At the same time, the ministry recommended an immediate review by a higher court."
At least media consumers are also learning about the ruling in some major media outlets. With a similarly remarkable judgement from Austria largely not even that was the case, in addition later in the article more. There follow also further judge voices from Germany, which speak out up-to-date against the intensification of the infection protection law.
Corona measures: "Significant harm to the welfare of the child".
It is still questionable to what extent the judgement from Weimar will actually be applied in reality; the political-media defamation has already begun. However, the ruling from Weimar can - in addition to the effects on current operations in the affected schools and regardless of developments in higher instances, etc. - already help those parents who had already lost hope that anyone outside the alternative media would take offense at the scandalous treatment of their children. It can also help to defend one's own conviction against the overwhelming Corona opinion: against others, but also against one's own doubts.
The judgment from Weimar (here in the wording) leaves nothing to be desired in clarity:
On April 8, 2021, the Weimar Family Court ruled that two Weimar schools are prohibited, effective immediately, from requiring students to wear mouth-to-nose coverings of any kind (especially qualified masks such as FFP2 masks), from imposing minimum AHA distances on them, and/or from participating in rapid SARS-CoV-2 testing. At the same time, the court determined that classroom instruction must be maintained.
The court case is reportedly a so-called "child protection proceeding pursuant to Section 1666 (1) and (4) of the German Civil Code," which a mother had filed for her two sons, ages 14 and 8, respectively, with the District Court - Family Court. The mother had argued that her children were being harmed physically, psychologically and educationally, without any benefit for the children or third parties. At the same time, this would violate numerous rights of the children and their parents under the law, the constitution and international conventions.
Proceedings under § 1666 of the Civil Code could therefore be initiated ex officio both at the suggestion of any person or without such a suggestion if the court considered intervention to be necessary for reasons of the best interests of the child, § 1697a of the Civil Code.
"Without this being countered by any benefit".
After examination, the Weimar Family Court had come to the conclusion that the measures now prohibited posed a present danger to the mental, physical or psychological well-being of the child to such an extent that significant harm could almost certainly be foreseen in the event of further development without intervention. The judge states:
"Such endangerment is present here. Because the children are not only endangered in their mental, physical and psychological well-being in particular by the obligation to wear face masks during the school time and to keep distances among themselves and to further persons, but beyond that already presently damaged. At the same time, this violates numerous rights of the children and their parents under the law, the constitution and international conventions. This applies in particular to the right to free development of the personality and to physical integrity from Article 2 of the Basic Law as well as to the right from Article 6 of the Basic Law to upbringing and care by the parents. (...)
The children are harmed physically, psychologically and pedagogically and their rights are violated without any benefit for the children themselves or third parties."
Burden of proof on the polluters
The court was convinced that the school administrators, teachers and others could not rely on the state law provisions on which the measures were based, because they were unconstitutional and therefore null and void. They would, for example, violate the principle of proportionality rooted in the rule of law (Articles 20, 28 of the Basic Law). The judgment states:
"According to this principle, also referred to as the prohibition of excessiveness, measures intended to achieve a legitimate purpose must be suitable, necessary and proportionate in the narrower sense - that is, when the advantages and disadvantages they achieve are weighed against each other. The measures that are not evidence-based, contrary to Section 1 (2) IfSG, are already unsuitable to achieve the fundamentally legitimate purpose pursued with them, to avoid overloading the health care system or to reduce the incidence of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In any case, however, they are disproportionate in the narrower sense, because the significant disadvantages/collateral damage caused by them are not offset by any recognizable benefit for the children themselves or third parties."
On the burden of proof, the judge clarifies:
"Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that it is not the parties involved who would have to justify the unconstitutionality of the encroachments on their rights, but conversely the Free State of Thuringia, which encroaches on the rights of the parties involved with its state-law provisions, would have to prove with the requisite scientific evidence that the measures it prescribes are suitable for achieving the intended purposes and that they are, if necessary, proportionate. So far, this has not been done to any degree."
The "Network of Critical Judges and Prosecutors" welcomed the ruling in a press release. It said the Weimar decision was "in its methodology a benchmark and model for judges throughout Germany." Courts must first carefully determine the facts relevant to the decision and only then evaluate them. It is not enough to rely on official sources without checking or criticizing them. Rather, a judge must also take the trouble to deal impartially with divergent expert opinions. It is not a matter of evaluating the person of those who express dissenting views, but of weighing the weight of their arguments.
A verdict from Austria
A similarly noteworthy ruling from Vienna was recently given extreme depth by German media, as Hannes Hofbauer describes at RT:
"Vienna Administrative Court opposes Corona regime and no one cares".
This is also interesting because on other occasions major German media are very fond of referring to the Corona "situation" in neighboring countries, when such references are suitable for maintaining their own scaremongering. And the content of the Vienna judgment (Here in the wording) would have been quite interesting for German media users also for the assessment of the policy of the German government: Because, according to the reports, it casts doubt on the data basis used to justify "measures" in this country as well:
"The health service of the city of Vienna uses in it the words "case numbers", "test results", "case history" as well as "number of infections". This confusion of terms does not do justice to a scientific assessment of the epidemic situation. For the WHO (WHO Information Notice for IVD Users 2020/05, Nucleic acid testing (NAT) technologies that use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of SARS-CoV-2, 20 January 2021), the decisive factor is the number of infections/ill people and not the number of people tested positive or other "case numbers". Thus, it remains already with it open, from which numbers the "information" proceeds.
The "information" refers to the recommendation of the Corona Commission of 21.1.2021. Due to the lack of information, it is not comprehensible whether the figures on which this recommendation is based only include those persons who were examined according to the WHO guidelines for the interpretation of PCR tests of 20.01.2021. Specifically, it is not shown what CT value a test result had, whether a person tested without symptoms was retested and subsequently clinically examined. With this, WHO follows the inventor of the PCR tests, ... (a not quite written out Youtube link is cited, note BR). Mutatis mutandis, it thus says that a PCR test is not suitable for diagnostics and therefore by itself says nothing about the disease or an infection of a person."
German judge against tightening of infection protection law
Currently, there is another voice of a critical judge, in this case on the planned tightening of the Infection Protection Act. Thus, according to the "Berliner Zeitung", the judge and ex-chairman of the German Association of Judges, Jens Gnisa, is "appalled" by the plans of the federal government. He calls for not agreeing to the law. On Facebook, Gnisa has called on citizens to influence their MPs to prevent the planned tightening of the Infection Protection Act, according to RT:
"I would therefore like to ask everyone: write to your member of the Bundestag and appeal to him or her not to approve this law in this form! Focusing only on incidence is ineffective."