Hundreds arrested in German ‘anti-corona’ protests

Police in Berlin have arrested 300 demonstrators during protests against Germany’s coronavirus restrictions.

Some 38,000 people took to the streets in the city for mostly peaceful demonstrations.

About 200 people were arrested at one rally, which the authorities blamed on right-wing agitators who were said to have thrown rocks and bottles.

Similar rallies took places in other European cities with some demonstrators calling the virus a hoax.

Thousands gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square to protest against issues including coronavirus restrictions and 5G. Signs reading “masks are muzzles” and “new normal = new fascism” were held up.

Similar protests took place in Paris, Vienna and Zurich.

Police ordered one group near the Brandenburg Gate to disperse for flouting safety rules, then arrested 200 after rocks and bottles were thrown.

“Unfortunately, we have no other option,” Berlin police said on Twitter. “All the measures taken so far have not led to compliance with the conditions.”

Protesters were closely packed in places, and sat together on the ground at one point.

A second group of about 30,000 met peacefully close by to hear speeches.

Among those arrested was cookery author and conspiracy theorist Attila Hildmann, who had addressed crowds through a loudspeaker.

Although Germany has so far not seen the wave of cases affecting some parts of Europe, its infection rate has been growing. New case numbers are reaching highs last seen in April. (Courtesy BBC)

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