Protesters shouted ‘I want my life back’ and held up signs with slogans such as ‘Protect constitutional rights’, ‘Freedom isn’t everything but without freedom, everything is nothing’, and ‘Daddy, what is a kiss?’
German police said on Twitter they had arrested more than 100 people.
Some protesters tried to keep distance from each other, sitting on the ground and wearing masks, but others clustered together.
Germany’s strict curbs on public activity to slow the transmission of coronavirus were imposed in its lockdown on March 17.
Police officers wearing protective mask, take a man into custody during a protest against restrictions taken against coronavirus
A huge police presence can be seen at the Berlin protest which came just a day after Angela Merkel warned that lockdown measures were being eased too quickly
Above, a policeman stands guard during the demonstration as he is faced by a swarm of angry protesters in Berlin
A man with is taken by police into custody as he grips onto a placard that roughly translates as never again fascism + war
A woman wearing ripped jeans and black boots is taken into custody by two of the 180 police officers who attended the protest
Protesters distributed newspapers entitled ‘Democratic Resistance’, which said the 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.
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.
Some protesters engaged in more peaceful methods and sat on the ground at a distance from each other
A protester keeps a safe distance from others as he sits next to a poster including a word that translates as ‘constitutional law’ as a yellow rose rests on top
Protesters with bikes can be seen above at the demonstration in Berlin
One man pictured above appears to be meditating amid the protest as he sits bare foot with his eyes closed
Above, a man crosses him arms while clutching onto white roses in reference to the White Rose resistance movement against the Nazis
A woman walks along wearing a protest-themed trail as police stride either side of her
A man wears a top asking people to ‘ask me why’ as he demonstrates while holding a cardboard banner reading 5G kills’
As well as reopening non-essential businesses, Germany also began reopening schools this week – with additional social distancing measures implemented. Above, a man can be seen trying to engage with officers at the protest
The clash comes after Angel Merkel warned on Friday that some states had already gone too far in relaxing measures and that ‘we can’t return to life like it was before coronavirus.’
Her comments came after the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania reopened zoos and fitness studios. Brandenburg, which neighbours Berlin, has permitted gatherings of 20 people and Rhineland-Palatinate allowed shopping malls and zoos to reopen as well as some party gatherings to take place.
Top German virologist slams government for easing lockdown rules
Virologist Melanie Brinkmann from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, told Spiegel that relaxing some measures may lead people to think the coronavirus crisis in Germany is coming to an end.
‘People are now seeing that some measures are being relaxed, and this gives them the impression that they will soon be able to return to normal life,’ she said.
However she doesn’t think there is any chance of that happening anytime soon.
‘The government has sent the wrong signal with the relaxation, and I am afraid that many people are now no longer taking the virus so seriously and are having more contact with other people again,’ said Brinkmann.
‘If that happens, we will soon be back to where we started.’
Virologist Christian Drosten has also warned that a second wave of infections could hit Germany with even greater force than the first, and Brinkmann agrees.
She said the second wave could be more severe as it will be less localised like the first was.
She added that we still don’t have any tools (vaccine or treatment) with which we can counter the virus if it picks up again and that a coronavirus app could help trace the virus to stop the spread.
Protesters distributed newspapers entitled ‘Democratic Resistance’, which said the 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
Policemen stand guard during the demonstration just one day after Angela Merkel warned Angel Merkel warned that ‘we can’t return to life like it was before coronavirus’
Because of the country’s decentralised political system, states have been largely to themselves how to ease lockdown measures – with guidance from central government.
As well as reopening non-essential businesses, Germany also began reopening schools this week – with additional social distancing measures.
‘We are in for the long haul. We must not lose energy before we reach the end,’ Merkel said, adding: ‘It would be a terrible shame if our hope punishes us.’
She cautioned ‘we’re still walking on thin ice, one could also say the thinnest ice’.
‘We’re not living in the final phase of the pandemic, but still at the beginning. We will be living with this virus for a long time.’
Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled earlier this month that people have the right to protests if they follow to social distancing rules, after pro-democracy activists brought a case arguing that lockdown breaches freedom of assembly
One protester protects their identity with a mask while wearing a top that reads Power to the People. Germany’s strict curbs on public activity to slow the transmission of coronavirus were imposed in its lockdown on March 17
People watch on at the Berlin protest from their window as protesters swarmed the streets
A man in a blue shirt and yellow facemask is led away by armed placed wearing PPE with their visors raised
A hooded man is taken is marched away by officers. Police spokesman Thilo Cablitz said permission had been given for a newspaper distribution campaign, but the health authorities had not granted permission for a public demonstration
Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled earlier this month that people have the right to protests if they follow to social distancing rules, after pro-democracy activists brought a case arguing that lockdown breaches freedom of assembly.
On Saturday, some protesters sat peacefully on the ground at a distance from each other, holding white roses in reference to the White Rose resistance movement against the Nazis.
‘We are here today… to stand up for our opinion. For the protection of constitutional rights, freedom, and above all freedom of speech,’ said a woman holding a rose who gave her name only as Sandra.
Germany has the fifth-highest coronavirus case total behind the United States, Spain, Italy and France, with close to 156,000 diagnoses. However it has managed to kept fatalities relatively low at just over 5,800 after extensive testing was implemented early.
Encouraged by lower infection figures, the government allowed smaller stores to re-open on Monday, along with car and bicycle dealers and bookstores. Social distancing rules remain in place until May 3.
Courtesy DAILY MAIL