Police said some protesters “harassed and attacked” officers in the Charlottenburg neighborhood, the German capital, while ignoring roadblocks.
About 2,000 officers in riot gear attempted to quell the unrest.
A police spokesperson said about 5,000 protesters took part in the protests.
Hundreds of arrests
In total, nearly 600 people were arrested, while others were briefly detained to obtain their personal details, police said.
“They tried to break through the police cordon and remove our colleagues. This led to the use of irritants, batons and physical violence, ”Berlin police tweeted.
They added that the authorities had to use water cannons to disperse the protesters.
In a violent incident, several demonstrators pulled the local official of the DJU journalists’ union, Jörg Reichel, from his bicycle before hitting and kicking him, according to the daily. Daily Mirror.
The newspaper said he was rescued by passers-by, but sustained shoulder and leg injuries and was taken to hospital.
The protest was called by the ‘Querdenker’ (lateral thinkers) movement, which has become the strongest voice against Germany’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Judges had banned several of his gatherings scheduled for the weekend, including a Sunday which organizers said would attract more than 20,000 people.
The court said it could not allow the rallies to take place for fear that participants would flout mask-wearing and social distancing rules, at a time when the number of COVID infections in Germany is on the rise. increase.
The Querdenker movement has been particularly popular among anti-vaccine and conspiracy theorists, and has also attracted members of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
tj, jsi / nm (AFP, dpa)