DRESDEN, Germany — First vaccine opponents attacked the police. They then began to chat online about killing the governor. One day, an angry crowd gathered outside the residence of the eastern state’s health minister in Saxony and began beating drums with torches.
The minister, Petra Köpping, had just gotten home when her phone rang. It was a neighbor who sounded scared. When Ms. Köpping peered out of her window into the dark, she saw several dozen faces across the street, flickering in the torchlight.
“They came to intimidate and threaten me,” she recalled in an interview. “I had just come home and was alone. I’ve been in politics for 30 years, but I have never seen anything like this. There is a new quality to this.”
The crowd was swiftly dispersed by the police, but the episode in December was a turning point in a country where the SA, Hitler’s paramilitary organization, was notorious not just for showing up at the homes of political rivals with torches and drums, but for attacking and even murdering them.
It was the most obvious sign yet that the protest movement against Covid, which has mobilized tens to thousands in cities and villages all over the country, was increasingly merging and collaborating with the far right. Each finding new purpose and energy and further radicalizing each other.
It doesn’t matter if you are in Canada or Germany, the dynamic is the same. Protests in different countries echo each other. On the streets of Dresden one recent Monday, the signs and slogans were nearly identical to those on the streets of Ottawa: “Freedom,” “Democracy” and “The Great Resist.”
Source: NY Times