Tuesday, 21 September, 2021


Berlin police halt march protesting against German government's coronavirus response

Berlin halts 'anti-corona' rally as European cities protest masks Coronavirus: police interrupt anti-mask demonstration in Berlin
Bennie Garza | 30 August, 2020, 00:27

Berlin police's appeal at the city's Higher Administrative Court for review also favoured the protestors and the Judges ruled that the demonstrations could go ahead.

On Saturday, thousands gathered in Berlin to protest, before police swept in to stop them from spreading the coronavirus.

A police spokesman said the protesters were dispersing peacefully, though the police also reported on Twitter pockets of disturbance, such as a construction container fire and blocked roads.

The demonstration went ahead after a German court overturned a police order banning the march.

The "Unite for Freedom" protest called for an end to mandatory measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, mask wearing and track and trace systems, described by the organizers as a "violation of people's rights and freedoms".

The demonstration had initially been banned by police but was permitted after a court battle came down on the side of organisers.

During the march, which authorities said drew about 38,000 people, participants expressed their opposition to a wide range of issues, including vaccinations, face masks and the German government in general.

But most participants denied having far-right views.

"Stones and bottles were thrown at our colleagues", police said. "And everywhere in these contacts they endanger others again", said Mr Muller.

In London, hundreds of people crowded into Trafalgar Square for a "Unite for Freedom" protest against government lockdown restrictions and the wearing of face masks.

Germany has seen a rise in the number of virus infections in recent weeks and officials had expressed concern that protesters might contribute to the spread of coronavirus during their rallies and while traveling to and from Berlin.

Police broke up the protest early after demonstrators repeatedly flouted rules on mask-wearing and keeping a safe distance.

Meanwhile, some 300 people gathered in a peaceful anti-mask demonstration on Saturday in Paris' Place de la Nation.

Some among the crowd waved American, Russian or German Reich flags, while several protesters wore clothing with white nationalist slogans and neo-Nazi insignia.

Germany has been praised for the way it has handled the pandemic, and the country's death toll of some 9,300 people is less than one-fourth the amount of people who have died of COVID-19 in Britain.

The country has reported more than 240,000 cases and almost 9,400 deaths so far. Police forcibly removed some protesters from a restricted zone at the Reichstag parliament building.

Until now Germany has managed the coronavirus crisis better than many of its European counterparts, with rigorous testing helping to hold down infections and deaths.

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