Berlin / Leipzig (dpa) – Thousands of people took to the streets of German cities over the weekend to protest against the corona policies of the federal and state governments.
However, in some cases, hundreds of counter-protesters also clashed with them, which accompanied, for example, a widely heralded “silent march” through Berlin with blockades and other disruptive actions. Two weeks after the chaotic manifestation of “lateral thinking”, Leipzig has also once again become the scene of protests by opponents of the Corona policy and of counter-demonstrations.
The Berlin police estimated the number of participants in the so-called silent march from Prenzlauer Berg to the centrally located Alexanderplatz at around 1,000. Five times as many were recorded. Police said most of the protesters wore mouth and nose protection, and individual criminal charges were laid for allegedly forged medical certificates for exemption from the requirement to wear a mask. The march towards the city center was accompanied by demonstrations of hundreds of counter-demonstrators, some of the left.
While the participants in the “silent march” demanded, among other things, an exemption from vaccination, the inhabitants of Prenzlauer Berg made noise with pots and took a position with posters such as “No place for corona money” and “Keep your distance from the law”. From time to time, “Nazis came out” sounded. About 600 police were on duty and provisional arrests were made on occasion.
State crown restrictions have polarized the country for months, with opponents and supporters of drastic protective measures at times irreconcilable. State governments’ deliberations on how to deal with the pandemic could result in an extension of the partial lockdown imposed in early November. This Wednesday, the country’s leaders will discuss the rest of the course with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).
In the context of the “lateral thinker” demonstration which got completely out of control in Leipzig two weeks ago, the police were on duty there on Saturday with 1,600 police officers from six federal states and federal police officers. Hundreds of people came to a rally of opponents of Corona policy on Kurt-Masur-Platz, which was promptly canceled by the organizer. As a result, the opposing camps met on several occasions in the city center and had to be kept away from each other by the police. The situation was confusing at times – there were several spontaneous unauthorized protests.
“The approved meetings were peaceful and calm. But then a dynamic situation developed in several places in the city center, ”police spokesman Olaf Hoppe said. It was a difficult situation for the police. The mayor of Leipzig, Burkhard Jung (SPD), spoke of a “game of cat and mouse”. The situation was very different from the Leipzig demonstration of “lateral thinking” two weeks ago.
According to the police, more than 600 dismissals have been pronounced and several crimes have been recorded, including physical attacks, breach of the peace, threats and resistance to police action. The German Association of Journalists (DJV) Sachsen also reported two physical assaults on journalists, and one journalist was insulted and persecuted.
For the most part, peaceful protests took place over the weekend in many other cities, such as Frankfurt, Hanover, Stuttgart, Pforzheim, Bochum and Cottbus. Some of them were organized by supporters of the controversial “side-thinking” initiative, which has been organizing protests against the current policy of containing the pandemic for weeks.