Thousands of Germans Protest Merkel’s Coronavirus Plans | Germany

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One protester wore a mask with the words “Merkel-Muzzle”, others held banners with slogans such as “Carnival Against Fascism”.

Several thousand people banging pans and whistling gathered in central Berlin on Wednesday to protest Angela Merkel’s plans to give her government the power to enforce restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.Lower and upper houses of the German parliament are expected to pass laws later Wednesday that could allow the government to impose restrictions on social contact, rules on wearing masks, drinking in public, closing shops and stopping sporting events.

Although most Germans accept latest ‘lockdown light’ to tackle second wave of coronavirus, critics say law gives government too much power and endangers civil rights of citizens without parliamentary approval .

The far-right alternative for Germany (AfD) even compared it to the 1933 enabling law that paved the way for Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship.

One protester wore a mask with the words “Merkel-Muzzle”, others held banners with slogans such as: “For the Enlightenment.” Peace and freedom. “

Protesters attend protest against government restrictions on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) near the Brandenburger gate in Berlin [Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

The demonstrators wore no masks or social distances. Police in riot helmets lined up to prevent protesters from getting too close to the Parliament building.

Police are desperate to avoid a repeat of an incident in August when, during mass marches against coronavirus restrictions, protesters stormed the steps of the Reichstag Parliament building, some of them waving the far-right flag Reichsflagge.

The images have traveled the world and have been condemned by leading German politicians.

Protester wears face mask reading ‘Merkel’s muzzle’ [Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has been widely praised for keeping infection and death rates below those of many of its neighbors in the first phase of the crisis, but is now in the middle of a second wave, like much of the rest of Europe.

The number of coronavirus cases increased from 17,561 to 833,307, data from the Robert Koch Institute showed on Wednesday. The death toll stands at 13,119.

Police arrest protester as another protester standing behind holds a sign reading “The Basic Law is Dead” [Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]



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