Thousands march in Berlin against coronavirus curbs




Thousands march in Berlin against coronavirus curbs
Thousands march in Berlin against coronavirus curbs  

BERLIN (Reuters) - Thousands marched in Berlin on Saturday to protest against measures imposed in Germany to stem the coronavirus pandemic, saying they violated people's rights and freedoms.

The gathering, estimated by police at 17,000, included libertarians, constitutional loyalists and anti-vaccination activists. There was also a small far-right presence with some marchers carrying Germany's black, white and red imperial flag.

Protesters danced and sang 'We are free people!' to the tune of rock band Queen's 'We Will Rock You'. Others marched with placards saying 'We are making a noise because you are stealing our freedom!' and 'Do think! Don't wear a mask!'.

"Our demand is to return to democracy," said one protester who declined to give his name. "The mask that enslaves us must go."

The protests followed a rallying call from Michael Ballweg, an entrepreneur and political outsider who has organised similar rallies in Stuttgart and is running to become mayor of the southwestern city.

Police filed a complaint against the organiser for failing to ensure marchers wore masks and kept their distance. Mainstream politicians criticised the protesters, with Social Democrat co-leader Saskia Esken calling them "covidiots".

"They not only endanger our health, they endanger our successes against the pandemic," tweeted Esken, whose party is Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partner.

After Germany's initial success in curbing the pandemic, infections are rising again. More than 200,000 people have caught COVID-19 and nearly 1,000 have died from it.

Most people in Germany have respected measures that include wearing face masks in shops, while the government has just imposed mandatory tests for holidaymakers returning from high-risk areas.

But a vocal minority is chafing against the restrictions.

"Only a few scientists around the world who follow the government's lead are heard," said protester Peter Konz. Those who hold different views "are silenced, censored or discredited as defenders of conspiracy theories".


(Reporting by Reuters TV, Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Giles Elgood)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Ex-Audi boss stands trial over
Ex-Audi boss stands trial over 'dieselgate' scandal in Germany
  • US
  • 2020-09-30 13:25:08Z

Rupert Stadler is the first first top executive to stand trial over the 2015 emissions-cheating scandal.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
  • US
  • 2020-09-30 10:54:24Z

Results from an early safety study of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate in older adults showed that it produced virus-neutralizing antibodies at levels similar to those seen in younger adults, with side effects roughly on par with high-dose flu shots. The findings are reassuring because immunity tends to weaken with age, Dr. Evan Anderson, one of the study's lead researchers, said in a phone interview. Germany's CureVac said it has started a mid-stage study testing its experimental vaccine and plans to begin a decisive global trial with about 30,000 volunteers in the fourth quarter.

Germany limits public gatherings in virus-affected areas
Germany limits public gatherings in virus-affected areas
  • World
  • 2020-09-29 17:09:52Z

Germany has ordered new restrictions to contain a second wave of the coronavirus, but stopped far short of the sort of measures seen in the UK. Angela Merkel and regional leaders agreed not to impose a new lockdown or a blanket limit on gatherings like the UK's "rule of six". Instead public gatherings will be limited to 25, but only in areas where the rate of infection rises over government safety limits. And even in the worst affected areas, there will be no legal limit on how many people can meet in private homes. "The rising number of coronavirus infections is a cause for concern," Angela Merkel told a press conference. "We want to act in a regionally specific, targeted manner. Another...

German leaders consider how to slow rise in virus cases
German leaders consider how to slow rise in virus cases
  • World
  • 2020-09-29 11:18:54Z

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany's 16 states were conferring Tuesday on how to prevent the country's coronavirus infection figures from accelerating to the levels being seen in other European countries, and new restrictions were possible. New infections in Germany have hit the highest levels since April in recent weeks, with more than 2,000 new cases per day on several occasions. Infection rates in Munich and some other cities have recently hovered around the mark of 50 new cases per 100,000 residents a week, a level that requires authorities to take action.

Germany
Germany 'could face 19,200 infections a day', warns Merkel
  • World
  • 2020-09-28 13:43:51Z

Angela Merkel is reportedly worried Germany is not doing enough to contain the coronavirus and infections could spiral out of control. "If we don't get on top of this, we could see 19,200 infections a day by Christmas", she warned party allies privately on Monday, according to reports in German media. She expressed particular concern over rapidly rising infections in the German capital, saying: "Something has to be done about Berlin". Mrs Merkel has yet to speak publicly of her concerns, which emerged in details of a private conference call leaked to the German press. But the leaked comments suggested she is set to press for new restrictions on daily life in Germany in coronavirus talks...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America