German police arrested a myriad of anti lockdown protesters in Berlin on Saturday the 25th of April for violating the coronavirus lock down measures.
It was said that more than a thousand people turned up for the rally which has now become a weekly event in the Capital of Germany. The recent protests attracted many supporters of the far left activist group but also some right wing members who are on the fence about matters.
Police were forced to put up barriers around Rosa Luxemburg square, where the protestors were headed.
The protest “is not in line with the rules” in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, police said on Twitter, telling those taking part to disperse.
Some of the demonstrators wore T-shirts accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of “banning life” while others simply called for “freedom”. Others brandished placards bearing slogans such as “Stop the pharmaceutical lobby”.
Protesters shouted “I want my life back” and held up signs with slogans such as “Protect constitutional rights” and “Freedom isn’t everything but without freedom, everything is nothing”
Rules have been set that ban the meeting of more than 20 people in Berlin and while the lockdown has been set up strictly for the safety of people, the site that set up the protest down played the effects of the coronavirus and this fuelled the fire.
Some protesters tried to keep a distance from each other, sitting on the ground and wearing masks, but others clustered together.
Public discontent with the confinement rules has been growing gradually in Germany, as in other countries, though Merkel’s popularity remains high. Just recently police men were attacked for enforcing lockdown rules and even stones thrown at them.
Police spokesman Thilo Cablitz said permission had been granted for a newspaper distribution campaign, but the health authorities had not granted permission for a public demonstration.
“During coronavirus times and according to containment regulations, we are obliged to prevent a gathering,” Cablitz said, adding 180 police officers were on duty.
The protesters handed out newspapers entitled “Democratic Resistance”, which said the new coronavirus is an attempt to seize power by spreading fear. The papers quoted 127 doctors from around the world who question the need for strict lockdowns.
She has received plaudits for her management of the health crisis which has seen Germany’s COVID-19 toll — 5,500 according to an AFP tally — remain significantly lower than in Italy, Spain, France and Britain where the death tolls have all risen above 20,000.
Opposition to the lockdown measures is being led by the far-right, the main opposition force in the German parliament. The opposition argues that the risk to the virus has been greatly exaggerated and that businesses should be opened again.