Breaking News

At least 300 Arrested in German 'Anti-corona' Protests

At least 300 Arrested in German 'Anti-corona' Protests

Berlin police have arrested 300 demonstrators during protests against Germany's coronavirus restrictions.

The arrests came after some far-right extremists tried to storm the German parliament building on Saturday following a protest against the country’s pandemic restrictions, but were intercepted by police and forcibly removed.

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

The incident occurred after a daylong demonstration by tens of thousands of people opposed to the wearing of masks and other government measures intended to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Thousands gathered in London's Trafalgar Square to protest against issues including coronavirus restrictions and 5G. Signs reading "masks are muzzles" and "new normal = new fascism" were held up.

A number of people were arrested and German politicians condemned the attack as "shameful" and "unacceptable".

Some of those involved had insignia from the far-right Reichsb├╝rger (Reich Citizens) movement. Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: "Nazi symbols as well as Reichsb├╝rger and Imperial German flags have no place in the German Bundestag."

The rally had originally been banned but a court eventually allowed it to go ahead.

Police ordered one group near the Brandenburg Gate to disperse for flouting safety rules, then arrested 200 after stones and bottles were thrown.

"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 closely packed in places, and sat together on the ground at one point.

Among those arrested was cookery author and conspiracy theorist Attila Hildmann, who had addressed crowds through a loudspeaker.

Some protesters then broke through a cordon at the Reichstag building and were dispersed by police using pepper spray.

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

Earlier some 200 people were arrested at one rally, which the authorities blamed on right-wing agitators who were said to have thrown stones and bottles.

It believes that coronavirus regulations infringe on basic rights and freedoms enshrined in Germany's constitution and wants them to be lifted.

The group previously organised a protest in Berlin on 1 August dubbed the "day of freedom". Thousands joined, including some from the far right and some conspiracy theorists who do not believe Covid-19 exists.

Germany has seen an upswing in new cases in recent weeks. The country’s disease control agency reported on Saturday that Germany had recorded almost 1,500 new infections over the past day.

Germany has been praised for its handling of the pandemic, and the country’s death toll of some 9,300 people is less than a quarter of the amount of people who have died of Covid-19 in Britain

No comments