A new series of protests against restrictive measures due to the coronavirus pandemic is taking place in Germany on Saturday, 16 May. The protests were announced in Berlin, Munich (Bavaria), Dortmund (North Rhine-Westphalia), Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg) and a number of other cities in Germany. And often in one settlement several protest events are held simultaneously: only in Munich there are about ten of them declared.
As the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper notes, the specifics of the protest are that the protest is gaining momentum against the backdrop of the authorities’ gradual rejection of prohibitive measures and the implementation of a second phase of mitigation.
The Berlin police have given permission for about 20 demonstrations. Based on epidemiological prescriptions, a special place was assigned to each of them and the number of participants should not exceed 50. Among the declared sites: Rosa Luxemburg square in the area of Mitte, Republic Square in front of the Reichstag building, where the Bundestag plenary hall is located, as well as Alexanderplatz, reports DW.
In Stuttgart the number of participants is limited to 5000, all participants are required to wear masks. At the same time, both in Berlin and in Stuttgart, a number of left-wing organizations announced “anti-demonstrations” – actions against the so-called “covididiotes” – radicals, principled opponents of vaccination and fans of conspiracy theories.
As the rallies that took place a week ago showed, the instructions of the authorities were often ignored, social distancing was not respected, and many were without masks.
This time, it was decided to strengthen the police presence and to follow the rules more closely.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, Germany’s most populous land with almost 18 million inhabitants, spoke out with understanding about the protests. “It is absolutely legal. In fact, it’s not unusual for people to go out to demonstrations in a situation where there is the most serious restriction of fundamental rights since the reunification of Germany,” he told the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.
At the same time, the politician warned that “left and right radicals as well as the “Reichsbürgers”, a radical group banned in Germany, are trying to take advantage of this protest.