Berlin SPD leader Saleh on Corona protests: “Take a close look at who you are demonstrating with” – Berlin

Berlin SPD leader Saleh on Corona protests: “Take a close look at who you are demonstrating with” – Berlin
Berlin SPD leader Saleh on Corona protests: “Take a close look at who you are demonstrating with” – Berlin

In view of the protests against corona measures and the obligation to vaccinate, Berlin’s SPD parliamentary group and state chairman Raed Saleh pleads for political decisions to be explained again and again. “I think it’s wrong to point the finger at people and say, ‘You all have no idea,'” Saleh told the German Press Agency. “You have to keep arguing.”

Defending democracy takes work and requires strength. “And it also means that you keep talking to people,” said the SPD politician. “We have to reach those who are running because they are afraid, because they have worries, because they believe that change is a threat to them.”

Fear of survival and loss also played a role. “Some people are fed half-truths or untruths via the Internet. We have to clearly refute this misinformation, and I’m sure that people are willing to listen to our arguments and our reasons,” said the SPD head of state.

“I understand that there are people who say I can’t take it anymore,” said Saleh. “There is now a certain tiredness, a corona exhaustion. It’s been going on for so long, it’s now a psychological burden for all of us. And that’s why politicians have to justify and explain that we wear masks because they protect us from infections and that we need certain precautions because free intensive care beds are becoming scarce.”

“Stop, up to here and no further!”

The problem is not those who took to the streets to express their opinions. “But I find it difficult when people know exactly who they are taking to the streets with and they still march with us,” said Saleh. “If you know that Nazis are taking part in this demonstration, then I would always advise staying away from the demo,” said the Social Democrat.

“If you know that conspiracy theorists are leading a march, you have to think twice before participating. If there are people who abuse this situation for themselves, then you have to say: stop, this far and no further!”

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Many of those who demonstrated actually wanted to articulate a certain dissatisfaction with the corona measures. “And politicians have to accept that there are people who take to the streets and express their opinions,” said Saleh. “But the demonstrators also have to put up with it when we, as politicians, say: Take a close look at who you are demonstrating with, you are currently making yourself a tool for right-wing populists, Nazis, conspiracy theorists and hate preachers.”

“Whoever you can’t pick up and who I don’t want to pick up at all are those who have a firm anti-democratic worldview, who deliberately stir up fears and deliberately argue with false news,” said the SPD head of state. “Those who lead such demonstrations and say they are defending democracy are in fact inciters and rabble-rousers. They spit on democracy.” (dpa)

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