German coronavirus: hundreds of people arrested during German “anti-corona” demonstrations


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Media captionThousands of people took to the streets of Berlin to rally against coronavirus restrictions

Berlin police have arrested 300 protesters during protests against Germany’s coronavirus restrictions.

Some 38,000 people took to the city streets for mostly peaceful protests.

Around 200 people were arrested during a rally, which authorities blamed on right-wing agitators who allegedly threw stones and bottles.

Similar rallies have taken place in other European cities, with some protesters calling the virus a hoax.

Thousands of people have gathered in Trafalgar Square in London to protest against issues such as coronavirus restrictions and 5G. The signs “masks are muzzles” and “new normal = new fascism” were raised.

Similar protests took place in Paris, Vienna and Zurich.

What happened in Germany?

Police ordered a group near the Brandenburg Gate to disperse for flouting safety rules, then arrested 200 people after throwing stones and bottles.

“Unfortunately, we have no other option,” Berlin police said on Twitter. “All the measures taken so far have not led to compliance with the conditions. ”

Protesters were crowded in places and sat together on the ground at one point.

A second group of about 30,000 people gathered peacefully nearby to hear speeches.

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Attila Hildmann spoke to protesters outside the Russian Embassy on Unter den Linden

Among those arrested was cookery author and conspiracy theorist Attila Hildmann, who spoke to the crowd via loudspeaker.

Although Germany has so far not seen the wave of cases affecting parts of Europe, its infection rate has increased. The number of new cases is reaching highs last seen in April.

Who was involved in the Berlin protests?

Mr Geisel said those demonstrating outside the Russian embassy on Unter den Linden were “right-wing extremists” and seven police officers were injured.

Some demonstrators then crossed a cordon at the Reichstag building and were dispersed by the police using pepper spray.

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Some protesters stormed into the Reichstag before being dispersed

German news site Deutsche Welle reported that flags and T-shirts supporting the far right could be seen among the crowd.

The protest west of the Victory Column Gate was organized by the Querdenken 711 (or Lateral Thinking 711) movement based in Stuttgart. The group has more than 16,000 followers on Facebook and communicates largely through the encrypted messaging service Telegram.

He believes that the coronavirus regulations violate the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the German constitution and wants them lifted.

The group had previously organized a demonstration in Berlin on August 1, dubbed “Freedom Day”. Thousands of people have joined him, including some from the far right and some conspiracy theorists who don’t believe Covid-19 exists.

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Protesters near the victory column hold a banner that reads “first wave, second wave, permanent wave?” “

The protests also won the support of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The anti-vaccination activist, also the son of assassinated US Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of assassinated US President John F. Kennedy, participates in the protests in Berlin .

Mr Kennedy told the crowd at the Victory Column that his uncle addressed Berlin in 1963 to counter totalitarianism and that “today Berlin is again the front against totalitarianism”, warning against monitoring state and power of 5G telephone networks.

Photos shared online also showed flags and slogans related to the QAnon conspiracy theory. The broad, unsubstantiated conspiracy theory indicates that US President Donald Trump is waging a covert war against the elite of Satan-worshiping pedophiles in government, business and the media, among other claims.

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The protests have drawn a range of different groups

Participants also included families and children. Some people said they just wanted the right to protest.

A protester, Stefan, a 43-year-old Berliner, told Agence France-Presse: “I am not a far-right sympathizer, I am here to defend our fundamental freedoms”.

Counter-demonstrations against the main march also took place, with around 100 people at a rally. “You are walking with the Nazis and the fascists,” some participants shouted, according to broadcaster RBB.

What are Germany’s Covid-19 measures?

The country has been one of the most effective countries in enforcing the response framework called prevent, detect, contain and treat.

It has been particularly effective in keeping the death rate in those over 70 lower.

He started loosening physical distancing in early April, but continued to track infections, which increased in August.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 federal states on Thursday introduced a minimum fine of € 50 (£ 45; $ 59) for not wearing a face mask on demand. The ban on major public events has also been extended until next year.

Ms Merkel said: “We will have to live with this virus for a long time. It is still serious. She said it would become more difficult in the winter.

Germany has recorded 242,000 infections, fewer than other major European nations. Its figure of 9,297 deaths is considerably lower than that of Russia, the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.


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