Corona demo canceled for violations: Participants criticize police

Due to violations of the Corona requirements, the Berlin police cut off a protest march, one The last rally was allowed. Among the participants were thousands of “Reichsbürger” and right-wing extremists.

Photo series with 21 photos

Authorities estimate that a total of about 38,000 people took part in the protests against the Corona policy in Berlin. That is what Senator of the Interior Andreas Geisel (SPD) said to journalists. In total, about 300 people were arrested during the day, about 200 in front of the Russian embassy alone. There, officials of a crowd of about 3,000 “Reichsbürgern” and right-wing extremists were pelted with stones and bottles.

According to the police, prisoners were also released there. Vegan chef Attila Hildmann, who calls himself the “ultra-right” and a conspiracy preacher, was also arrested in front of the embassy. Geisel did not comment on the exact background to Hildmann’s arrest.

Conditions not met – police end protest march

The Berlin police broke up the big demonstration in the afternoon, but allowed a final demonstration for the time being. For the dissolution of the protest march through the city center, “in particular non-compliance with the distance rules” was decisive, the management tweeted. Two people were arrested after officers were pelted with stones and bottles.

A police spokesperson said that at the last meeting with tens of thousands of participants, the distance rules would now be largely adhered to so that the event could take place.

Participants at the coronademo in Berlin: After the conditions were not met, the police disbanded the demo. (Source: Michael Sohn / AP / dpa)

Police estimates had previously gathered 18,000 people in Berlin to demonstrate against the federal government’s corona measures. Many of them were right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists.

Protesters complain about the police

The resignation of the federal government and the end of the protective conditions and everyday restrictions resulting from the corona pandemic were called on banners. The posters read “Stop the Corona Madness” and “End the Corona Dictatorship”. Over and over the crowd chanted “Resistance” and “We are the people”. Some protesters carried photos of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), as well as Economy Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) and Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) – all in prison attire and saying “guilty” .

In general, a very wide mix of citizens, young and old as well as families with children, gathered in Friedrichstrasse, where the demo was to begin. Many sat down during the long wait. Protesters complained that they could not keep their distance because the police had shut everything down. In fact, the police didn’t let anyone in to keep it from getting busy.

First demo on Friday

The protesters on Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden carried flags, some from different states. The police blocked the entrances with bars. Large signs said, “We are the people.” Other banners called for the resignation of the federal government and an end to the protective conditions resulting from the corona pandemic.

On Saturday morning, the Higher Administrative Court Berlin-Brandenburg confirmed that the ban on the Berlin police will not last. This decision was then final.

People stand in front of a stage at the Brandenburg Gate at a demonstration against the corona measures: Up to 30,000 people are expected in Berlin on Saturday. (Source: dpa / Christoph Soeder)People stand in front of a stage at the Brandenburg Gate at a demonstration against the corona measures: Up to 30,000 people are expected in Berlin on Saturday. (Source: Christoph Soeder / dpa)

On Friday evening, 1,500 people gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate – most of them were not wearing a face mask. In the presence of the Russian and American embassies, some of them demanded the signing of a “peace treaty” – a clear sign that they were supporters of the Reich Citizen Movement. Many of them believe that the Federal Republic is still an occupied country.

According to the police, the registered demonstration was peaceful, but had to be appealed several times to keep their distance. The police had initially spoken of 120 participants at the beginning of the evening, but updated their estimate around 8.30 pm.

The Berlin administrative court decided on Friday that the big meeting against the Corona measures could take place on Saturday. It stated there were no conditions for a ban. An imminent threat to public safety cannot be inferred from the course of the demo on August 1, nor from the critical attitude of the participants towards the corona policy.

The red-red-green Berlin Senate and the police were widely criticized for the ban. Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) of the Interior had also said about the ban on demonstrations that he did not want Berlin to become the stage again for “Corona deniers, Reich citizens and right-wing extremists”.

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