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Montevideo, September 18th 2020 - 15:05 UTC

 

 

Demonstrations in Berlin and German cities against coronavirus restrictions

Monday, August 3rd 2020 - 10:14 UTC
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Around 20,000 people took part in the “day of freedom” demonstration, the majority not covering their nose and mouth or respecting social distancing Around 20,000 people took part in the “day of freedom” demonstration, the majority not covering their nose and mouth or respecting social distancing

Some 45 police officers were injured in a wave of weekend demonstrations in Berlin including protests against coronavirus restrictions, police said as protesters gathered again in smaller numbers on Sunday.

The unruly protests, in which many demonstrators failed to wear masks or respect social distancing rules, have sparked a chorus of condemnation including calls for tougher penalties against those who violate restrictions aimed at curbing transmission of the deadly virus.

A total of 133 people were arrested during Saturday's protests, which included a huge “day of freedom” demo against coronavirus restrictions, police said in a statement on Sunday.

The arrests were for offences including resisting police officers, breach of the peace and the use of unconstitutional symbols. Three officers required hospital treatment, police said.

Around 20,000 people took part in the “day of freedom” demonstration, the majority not covering their nose and mouth or respecting Germany's 1.5-metre social distancing requirement.

The crowd, a mixture of hard left and right, and conspiracy theorists, shouted “We are the second wave” as they converged on the Brandenburg Gate, demanding “resistance” and dubbing the pandemic “the biggest conspiracy theory”.

Police began dispersing the crowds in the late afternoon, but hundreds of protesters remained at the Brandenburg Gate late into the evening. Police have launched legal proceedings against organizers for not respecting virus hygiene rules.

Despite Germany's comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over recent weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize Saturday's rally as irresponsible.

“Yes, demonstrations should also be possible in times of coronavirus, but not like this,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said.

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