San Francisco Chronicle

Demonstrat­ors decry controls


Thousands marched in Berlin on Sunday to protest the government’s virus restrictio­ns despite a ban on the gatherings, leading to clashes with police and the detention of some 600 protesters.

Local authoritie­s had banned several protests over the weekend, including one from the Querdenker movement based in Stuttgart, but protesters in Berlin defied the ban.

Berlin’s police department deployed more than 2,000 officers to try and disperse the protests, but it said officers who sought to redirect protesters or disband larger groups were “harassed and attacked.”

By Sunday evening, police had detained about 600 people, according to German media, and protesters were still marching through the city.

Germany eased many of its coronaviru­s restrictio­ns in May, including reopening restaurant­s and bars. 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.

The protests follow other demonstrat­ions against virus measures around Europe. More than 200,000 people turned out Saturday in France to protest vaccinatio­n requiremen­ts for the third straight weekend, at times clashing with police.

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