Berlin Police Break Up Large Protest Against Coronavirus Restrictions—For Violating Coronavirus Restrictions. A protest in Berlin against Germany’s coronavirus restrictions was shut down by police on Saturday after demonstrators—not surprisingly, perhaps—balked at social distancing rules.
At least 18,000 people attended the rally, which was broken shortly after it began because protesters refused to wear masks or socially distance.
Earlier this week, government officials banned the protest, fearing the demonstrators would violate the coronavirus regulations, but an appeals court overruled the ban with the condition that protesters comply with the social distancing regulations.
“The minimum distancing is not being respected by most,” the police announced shortly after the protest began, saying “there is no other option than to break up the gathering.”
The protesters say social distancing and mask regulations infringe on their basic human rights and have seen support from anti-vaccination supporter Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and far-right QAnon supporters.
This is the second large demonstration against Covid-19 restrictions in Germany this month. Germany has had one of the most robust and successful responses to the coronavirus in Europe. However, infections have spiked this month, leading Chancellor Angela Merkel to introduce a 50 Euro (roughly $60) fine against people who fail to wear a face mask where one is required. Germany has had around 242,000 infections and 9,297 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. But despite the relatively low numbers, daily infection rates are at their highest in the country since April. “We will have to live with this virus for a long time to come. It is still serious. Please continue to take it seriously,” Merkel said.