According to police figures quoted by German media, the protest was called “Freedom Day” and attracted about 15,000 people. The demonstration was organized by Querdenken 771. The group is located in the western city of Stuttgart and was born out of a weekly anti-blockade demonstration in the early days of the pandemic. Members sometimes wear tin foil hats or necklaces, which is a mockery of them being conspiracy theorists.
According to Reuters, the people who attended the meeting on Saturday included a hodgepodge of scientific skeptics, liberals, German far-rights and constitutionalists.
There have been demonstrations against coronavirus measures from London to Michigan, but the gathering in Berlin is one of the largest so far. The police used loudspeakers to urge most people without masks to observe the rules of social distancing.
In the past, Querdenken 771
The slogans displayed on Saturday covered all kinds of dissatisfaction and allegations.
“Think about it! Don’t wear a mask!” Local media reported that some people chanted beside placards that read “corona, false alarm” and “we are forced to wear guns.” Others yelled: “We are here, we are noisy because we are deprived of freedom,” or they held up signs saying “Natural defense instead of vaccinations.”
The reporter wearing a mask faced the thought of “The mask disappeared!” According to the crowd in Der Tagesspiegel newspaper.
Health care experts say that wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing is essential to contain the spread of the virus that causes covid-19. They believe that due to the severity of the public health crisis, it is reasonable to temporarily restrict daily life. In Germany, people must wear face masks in shops and supermarkets.
In the early days of the pandemic, Germany was one of the most active protest movements against coronavirus measures, although its restrictions were relatively few compared to many other countries in Europe. The protests attracted a compromise combination of conspiracy theorists, extreme rightists, extreme leftists, and others who expressed the impact on the economy or the suppression of basic rights.
However, in recent months, the number of weekly demonstrations has decreased.
Berlin Interior Minister Andreas Geisel told RBB Radio on Friday that the neo-Nazi organization has called on its members to participate in the protests. He said that it is not “free behavior” to endanger the health of oneself and others during a pandemic.
“We can no longer afford this dangerous nonsense,” Jan Redmann, a member of the Christian Democratic Party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Angela Merkel), tweeted.
Germany reported another 870 positive coronavirus cases on Friday. The number of new infections is still far lower than in hotspots such as the United States, and the more than 6,000 per day seen in the pandemic earlier in Germany. The country entered a state of lockdown in March, and began to gradually remove measures by region in late May.
But German health officials said the “scattered” nature of the current increase is worrying.
Since the country’s reopening, previous peaks of infection have been concentrated in clusters such as slaughterhouses and nursing homes, and the authorities can act quickly to contain them. However, many incidents across the country have infected citizens.
“Europe News” reported that Lothar Wieler, director of the Robert Koch Health Surveillance Institute in Germany, said earlier this week: “The latest developments in covid-19 cases are extremely worrying.”