While conducting research on vaccine opposition in Luxembourg, a journalist from daily newspaper Tageblatt had registered in a Telegram group chat NëtgepicktLU2.0 (NotjabbedLU2.0). He found among the members of the group one called Roy Reding and wrote to the ADR politician to confirm if that was indeed him. Reding responded saying that he was a member of the group, but he also went on to post in the same group chat the journalist’s message along with his personal and work phone number.
The Tageblatt journalist then began receiving messages from the members of the anti-vaccination group along with conspiracy theories. In the group chat the journalist was also referred to as a “Gestapo spy” and a “government collaborator”. The Luxembourg association of professional journalists (ALJP) criticised Reding for his actions, calling them an “attempt to intimidate the journalist”. The association says this concerns the freedom of the press and called on politicians not to condone such behaviour.
“This approach is vile and really very dangerous,” said Tageblatt’s editor-in-chief Dhiraj Sabharwal. In addition to that he does not rule out taking legal action against Reding.
Around 2,000 people gathered for a protest march against vaccination and pandemic measures on Saturday. A group of protesters broke down the barriers of the Christmas marked in Place de la Constitution. While several people also attempted to break into parliament.
Several protestors carried placards bearing the Star of David and comparing the covid restrictions with the Nazi regime’s persecution and murder of Jews. In a video shared on social media, protestors bearing a banner with the star are seen climbing on the national monument of remembrance--the Gëlle Fra--which honours the Luxembourgers who fought in both world wars and the Korean war.
“We strongly condemn the references to the Nazi period and the use of the Jewish star at this event. The use of these symbols is a deliberate part of the trivialisation of the Shoah and such a distortion of the past leads to a distortion of history,” said the Luxembourg Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah in an official statement.
The government on 29 November announced that it would tighten the CovidCheck regime for leisure activities to a so-called 2G system, meaning only certificates of people vaccinated or recovered will be accepted. This largely excludes non-vaccinated people from public life as they will no longer be able to go to restaurants, the cinema, the gym and other public venues.
The 3G CovidCheck, including a negative test result, will become mandatory at the workplace from mid-January and unvaccinated employees will have to get tested daily.
Updated on 8 December at 6pm: An earlier version of this article implied the protest was organised by the “Marche Blanche” movement.