IIn Düsseldorf, numerous people again protested on Saturday against the assembly law planned by the North Rhine-Westphalian state government. According to the organizers, more than 5000 people took part in the rally. The police put the number of participants at up to 2000. The demonstration was “peaceful and with only minor disruptions”.
After a demonstration at the end of June, the organizers complained about “disproportionate police violence” against protest participants in the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital. Thereupon there was massive criticism of the police operation. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) defended the police, but at the same time admitted that mistakes had also been made.
For the demonstration on Saturday, the authorities had originally imposed requirements on the size and height of banners. On the night before the rally, the North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court upheld a complaint by the organizers, as announced by the alliance “Stop the NRW Assembly Act – preserve basic rights”.
The planned law is intended to be the first state law in North Rhine-Westphalia, so far the federal law has been in force. Criticism ignites above all of the so-called militancy ban. This is intended to be able to prohibit meetings and events in the open air if the outward appearance or appearance suggests a willingness to use violence.
Critics from trade unions, youth associations and the climate movement consider the regulations to be too imprecise and see a restriction on freedom of assembly. Football fans, among other things, fear that the law could make it more difficult for them to travel to football games together.