Crowds defy ban to protest coronavirus measures in Berlin

Aug 1, 2021, 6:53 AM | Updated: 7:56 am

BERLIN (AP) — BERLIN — Hundreds of people turned out in Berlin on Sunday to protest the German government’s anti-coronavirus measures despite a ban on the gatherings, leading to arrests and clashes with police.

Local authorities banned several different protests registered for this weekend, including one from the Stuttgart-based Querdenker movement, which expected 22,500 attendees. But protesters defied the ban, starting to gather Sunday morning at various points around the city.

Berlin’s police department deployed more than 2,000 officers around the city. As the crowds grew in the afternoon, officers who sought to redirect protesters or disband larger groups were “harassed and attacked,” Berlin’s police tweeted.

“They tried to break through the police cordon and pull out our colleagues,” it said, adding that police had to use irritants and batons.

The protests, including in Berlin’s Charlottenburg neighborhood and the Tiergarten park, led to multiple arrests, police said. As the crowds made their way toward the Brandenburg Gate, police warned via loudspeaker that they would use water cannons if protesters did not disperse.

Germany eased many of its coronavirus restrictions in May, including reopening of 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 Querdenker movement, which has become the largest and most visible anti-lockdown movement in Germany, has at times drawn thousands of supporters to its demonstrations in Berlin and elsewhere across the country. It has brought together a disparate mix of demonstrators, including people opposing vaccinations, coronavirus deniers, conspiracy theorists and right-wing extremists.

Earlier this year, Germany’s domestic intelligence service warned the movement was becoming increasingly radical, putting some of its adherents under surveillance.

The protests follow other widescale demonstrations against coronavirus measures around Europe. Thousands have turned out to protest vaccination requirements in France over the past three weekends, at times clashing with the police, and about 80,000 people protested in cities across Italy last weekend.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Sterling Sheffield, an assistant professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the Univers...
Associated Press

FDA change ushers in cheaper, easier-to-get hearing aids

It’s now a lot easier — and cheaper — for many hard-of-hearing Americans to get help. Hearing aids can now be sold without a prescription from a specialist. Over-the-counter, or OTC, hearing aids started hitting the market in October at prices that can be thousands of dollars lower than prescription hearing aids. About 30 million […]
7 hours ago
FILE - Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, ...
Associated Press

Supreme Court weighs ‘most important case’ on democracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is about to confront a new elections case, a Republican-led challenge asking the justices for a novel ruling that could significantly increase the power of state lawmakers over elections for Congress and the presidency. The court is set to hear arguments Wednesday in a case from North Carolina, where […]
7 hours ago
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an image captured off a screen at the Jiuquan Satelli...
Associated Press

3 Chinese astronauts return to Earth after 6-month mission

BEIJING (AP) — Three Chinese astronauts landed in a northern desert on Sunday after six months working to complete construction of the Tiangong station, a symbol of the country’s ambitious space program, state TV reported. A capsule carrying commander Chen Dong and astronauts Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe touched down at a landing site in […]
7 hours ago
FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...
Associated Press

No OPEC+ oil shakeup as Russian price cap stirs uncertainty

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The Saudi-led OPEC oil cartel and allied producers including Russia did not change their targets for shipping oil to the global economy amid uncertainty about the impact of new Western sanctions against Russia that could take significant amounts of oil off the market. The decision at a meeting of oil ministers […]
7 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Vandalism suspected in North Carolina power outage

MOORE COUNTY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina believe vandalism may have caused a power outage that affected thousands of customers Saturday night. A mass power outage in several communities beginning just after 7 p.m. Saturday “is being investigated as a criminal occurrence,” the Moore County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “As […]
7 hours ago
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, plays with children who have been d...
Associated Press

US intel chief thinking ‘optimistically’ for Ukraine forces

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The head of U.S. intelligence says fighting in Russia’s war in Ukraine is running at a “reduced tempo” and suggests Ukrainian forces could have brighter prospects in coming months. Avril Haines alluded to past allegations by some that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisers could be shielding him from bad news — […]
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Crowds defy ban to protest coronavirus measures in Berlin