The Star (Jamaica)

Crowds protest COVID-19 restrictio­ns in Germany


Hundreds of people turned out in Berlin on Sunday to protest the German government’s anti-coronaviru­s measures, despite a ban on the gatherings, leading to arrests and clashes with police.

Local authoritie­s banned several different protests this weekend, including one from the Stuttgartb­ased Querdenker movement, which expected 22,500 attendees. But protesters defied the ban, gathering on Sunday around the city.

Berlin’s police department, which deployed more than 2,000 officers, said that as crowds grew, officers who sought to redirect protesters or disband larger groups were “harassed and attacked”.

“They tried to break through the police cordon and pull out our colleagues,” it said, adding that police had to use irritants and batons.

Germany eased many coronaviru­s restrictio­ns in May, allowing restaurant­s and bars to reopen. Still, many activities, such as dining indoors at restaurant­s or staying in a hotel, require proof that an individual is either fully vaccinated, has recovered from the virus, or can show proof of a recent negative coronaviru­s test.

Sunday’s protest follows other demonstrat­ions against coronaviru­s restrictio­ns around Europe. Thousands have turned out for the past three weekends in France to protest a vaccine health pass that people will need to enter stadiums or restaurant­s, at times clashing with French police. Another 80,000 people also protested in cities across Italy last weekend.

 ?? AP ?? Demonstrat­ors walk along Bismarckst­rasse in Berlin on Sunday.
AP Demonstrat­ors walk along Bismarckst­rasse in Berlin on Sunday.

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