Thousands of protesters have gathered and demanded ‘freedom’ in a march opposing coronavirus measures the government has taken in a bid to counter the pandemic.
The protest, which was attended by some 17,000 people according to the authorities, took place in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday.
The massive march followed shortly after the government hinted tougher restrictions saying there’s a surge of new COVID-19 cases in the country.
Objecting the government’s safety measures, a horde of protesters took to the streets and refused to social distance or wear face masks while chanting: “We are here and we are loud because we are being robbed of our freedom!”
While the police attempted to enforce social distancing and get the protesters to wear face masks via megaphones, the majority of people ignored their orders as they marched down the streets carrying signs that read: “Natural defense instead of vaccination,” “Corona, false alarm,” “We are the second wave,” and “We are being forced to wear a muzzle.
As they marched through the city, protesters were met by counter-protesters chanting “Nazis out!” and wielding slogans such as “We are many. Berlin against Nazis.”
Following the mass protest, the authorities insisted they would be filing criminal complaints against organizers of the demonstration because of their failure to enforce proper safety measures.
Germany has so far confirmed over 210,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 9,000 related deaths.
While the government has been gradually easing restrictions, social distancing is still mandated and people are required to wear face masks in stores and on public transit.
Following the recent rise in new infections, however, officials have warned against complacency and hinted fresh restrictions might be put in place.
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