Wednesday evening. The marketplace of the Esperanto town is empty, only the municipal Christmas tree glows against the darkness in the freezing drizzle. But no amount of weather can stop Daniela Unger (name changed by the editors) and her colleagues at the Helios Clinic in Herzberg, Germany. They are angry. Want to set an example. They fear a Lower Saxony-wide compulsory vaccination in the nursing sector. That's why they are now mobilizing. Her weapons of choice are the right to peaceful assembly, homemade signs and grave lights. They finally want to be heard.
From 16 o'clock Unger stands therefore on the market place – at first alone. Only slowly do colleagues, acquaintances and friends, as well as other people, trickle in. The square around the Harzer Tanne fir tree is filling up steadily. They start putting signs on the steps in front of the square. In between they place the candles: Protest in the Advent garb.
130 people at demonstration in Herzberg
In the end, more than 130 people came together. Unger is overwhelmed: "Germany must finally stand up!", she shouts to the crowd, earning cheers and applause.
Almost no one wears a mask here, and the distance is not taken very seriously either. Between the demonstrators, about a dozen children of different ages play happily. Representatives of the young party Die Basis from Gottingen have also come to show their support. The party is close to the cross-thinking movement observed by the Verfangsschutz.
Talking to the attendees, a familiar picture emerges: disappointment over false or missing information from the so-called mainstream media. A useless vaccine that is untested and DNA-based – people just don't have confidence in it. Politics, corrupt and acting against the interest of the people, would abrogate the right to physical integrity.
"My body belongs to me," one participant carries on a sign in front of him. He is afraid of mandatory organ donation in case of death. And from a group from the messenger service Telegram he knows that the vaccinations are more deadly than any virus. Another participant knows that the best protection is to live in harmony with your soul. She would never let the corona vaccination be administered to her. An acquaintance would be in a wheelchair since the vaccination.
Defiance and lack of empathy
Many participants worry about themselves and their relatives. But it's not the rampant virus that worries them, it's the fear of vaccination, for a variety of reasons. But the increasingly harsh tone of the debate is also a reason for many participants to be here today. They feel denounced as conspiracy theorists, fear the division of society because no one has sympathy for their skepticism anymore. The fact that their theories have been disproved apparently does not interest them.
Daniela Unger also does not want a corona vaccination. "I've been doing my job for almost 38 years," the OR nurse tells us, "and I still love it. But if they force me to vaccinate – then I throw down." She tells that she is not generally against vaccination. The usual syringes have them all: mumps, measles, rubella and the like. But the mRNA substances have not been sufficiently tested. She feels patronized, is annoyed by her fellow citizens who put up with all this: "The German is a sleeping sheep!" she says.
Degradation and stress
Unger talks about her everyday life in the clinic. "They've never asked me if my back hurts or if I could catch something from a patient. I liked the job anyway. I still do today!"She describes how her professional life has changed in 40 years. How much hospitals have been trimmed for profit margins, cut staff, and pushed for privatization. How the job that is their calling has become increasingly difficult.
Unger paints a picture of a health care system that pushes its employees to the limit while exploiting the will to help others to drive up profits. She was already frustrated by this before the pandemic. Now breaking ground. Her colleagues are right there with her. Nobody would be interested in their opinion, their concerns would not be taken seriously.
Police: No demos without Corona hygiene
The demonstration was not a spontaneous idea. On messenger services like Signal they had agreed beforehand. But nobody really had any experience in organizing demonstrations. That's why Unger and her colleagues also "slipped through" to officially register the gathering – or so they say. The local patrolman admonishes that and asks to ensure contact tracing. But he can't hide his lack of understanding about the gathering: "It would be better if you were standing in line in front of a vaccination center than here on the market," he lets Daniela Unger know. She is threatened in the aftermath with a charge of a violation of the Assembly Act: Under the open sky, they must be registered according to the law.
Upon request, the Herzberg police station informs that an event of this kind will not take place again in Herzberg – not without a hygiene concept and compliance with the corona-related rules of the game.
Vaccination readiness at Helios very high
The Helios Clinic Herzberg, on the other hand, let our newspaper know: "The willingness to vaccinate among our 550 employees is very high. Furthermore, everyone is required to get tested immediately if they have symptoms. Regardless of the testing requirement, our employees wear FFP2 masks in direct patient contact." Unvaccinated employees would have to show a daily test. Regarding the events in Herzberg's city center, the hospital commented only to the extent that the decision on compulsory vaccination for all or certain occupational groups was solely the task of the legislature.
Daniela Unger is euphoric about the success of her campaign. She accepts the ad that a passerby threatened her with – on her sign, she had compared SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach to Adolf Hitler.