German protesters protest coronavirus restrictions, fail to form human chain around lake

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German protesters failed to gather enough people to form a human chain around a lake as thousands protested against coronavirus restrictions, according to reports.

Police said two different protests gathered in Constance – some to criticize and others to support government measures, Reuters reported.

The number of demonstrators was estimated at around 11,000, the situation being described as “calm”.

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Counter-protesters tried to form a human chain around Lake Constance, but failed to attract enough people, Sky News reported.

A protester holds a German Reich flag with a photo of US President Donald Trump outside the Brandenburg Gate ahead of a protest against the coronavirus measures by the German government in Berlin, Germany, Saturday August 29, 2020 – file photo.
(Christophe Gateau / dpa via AP)

Germany has performed relatively well compared to other countries, with a lower infection and death rate during most of the pandemic.

However, the number of cases is increasing again and the authorities are considering new restrictions, which have upset sections of the population.

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Local authorities have imposed measures such as social distancing to combat the spread of the coronavirus, but they have also banned the use of the German Imperial Reichsflagge – a symbol used by neo-Nazis and other far-right groups.

Protesters rallied for a mix of causes, such as civil rights and anti-vaxxers, with members of far-right groups in attendance, Sky News reported.

Marches were held in Germany last month for similar causes, notably in Berlin at the end of August.

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The police forcibly evicted the demonstrators who stormed the parliament building, some of them carrying the Reich flag.

“The flags of the Reich and the far-right provocations in front of the German Bundestag are an unbearable attack on the heart of our democracy,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said of the incident. “We will never accept this.”

Robert Habeck, the co-leader of the German Green Party, called for a full investigation into the incident.

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“The fact that the Nazis carrying imperial flags are trying to storm the Bundestag is reminiscent of the darkest period in German history,” he told the Funke media group.

Robert Gearty of Fox News contributed to this report.

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