Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Stuggart and Berlin, Germany, on Saturday the 2nd of May to protest the ongoing restrictions on public life to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The organizers said several thousands of people joined what they described as ‘nonpartisan’ weekly protest in the southwestern city of Stuggart. Protest initiator Michael Ballweg claimed 5,000 people had joined the demonstration, up from a few hundred the week before.
Police in Stuggart could not estimate the size of the crowd, but said the gathering went off without incidents and that demonstrators largely kept the required distance from each other.
Ballweg has said his “Querdenken” movement, a name which translates roughly as “lateral thinking,” is calling for the restoration of fundamental rights such as freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
The tech professional was initially banned from holding the demonstration by the city, but Germany’s Constitutional Court overturned the ban.
Elsewhere, in Berlin, police said around 300 protesters gathered at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in the central Mitte district.
City police had approved only two protests with up to 20 participants each. Fifteen minutes before the demos began, officers warned would-be demonstrators via Twitter that the area was full.
A few hundred demonstrators have gathered in Berlin for the past few Saturday afternoons, among them known right-wing populists and conspiracy theorists.
Meanwhile, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the discussions about the extent of the restrictions were important.
Meanwhile, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the discussions about the extent of the restrictions were important. “The discussions create a healthy obligation for politicians to explain on a daily basis how long such measures can be justified,” Steinmeier told Sunday’s edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Registered outdoor gatherings are allowed in Berlin of up to 20 people. From Monday this rule will be relaxed to allow groups of up to 50 people.