WATCH Berlin police forcefully disperse unsanctioned protest against coronavirus lockdown
Hundreds of activists gathered in central Berlin, defying government Covid-19 lockdown measures and arguing the state is heading for “authoritarian rule.” The gathering was met with a strong police response.
Some 300 protesters descended on the Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz square in Germany’s capital on Saturday for an unauthorized rally against the coronavirus lockdown. The participants did not bother to observe social distancing guidelines and only a handful of them donned protective face masks.
The gathering brought people together with very different political views, as banners at the rally ranged from quite moderate pro-democracy calls to rather hard-line ones. One protester, for instance, was spotted carrying a banner reading ‘Vaccination is terrorism’.
The rally promptly escalated into scuffles between the activists and police trying to remove protesters from the area. Several people were detained and forcefully put into police vans.
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Earlier this week, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that Germans have the right to hold political protests if they stick to social distancing rules. The case was brought there by pro-democracy activists from the state of Hesse, who earlier lost their case with two lower-tier courts that sided with the authorities. The Constitutional Court, however, deemed the blanket ban on protests to be unconstitutional, ordering the authorities to review such policies.
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