Activists protesting the Chinese Virus lockdown have organized another ‘silent march’ in Berlin, angering the locals and provoking counter-demonstrations. Police made arrests as they dispersed a blockade on the path of the protestors.
The organizers of the event insist that the “campaign of fear” launched by the government over the pandemic is infringing on their rights and must end. They are aiming for their protest to be as civilized as possible, with participants asked to wear face masks, abide by social distancing rules, and refrain from chanting any political slogans.
Some 5,000 signed up for the event, but the actual attendance was far lower. The column was made up of around 400 when the march began, according to estimates by local media. As such, the police deployed on site actually surpassed the protesters in numbers at that point.
Those in the front row of the march carried a banner with the slogan of the movement “We must talk.” As it went on, it was joined by more people. But there was also a counter-protest, as dozens came to show their rejection of the agenda. “Shame on you!” said one of their banners.
Locals were also unhappy with the event, with people in the windows whistling and banging on pots, making sure the protest would not be silent like the organizers planned. Drivers honked their horns in solidarity for the protestors.
A group of counter-protesters also tried to block the route of the march. A dozen young men from Antifa with their faces covered sat on the pavement, locking their hands tight. But the police interfered and dispersed the blockade. The officers acted harshly as they separated people from the group, shoving them and making arrests.
Rallies of the anti-lockdown movement in Germany often end up in violence as they face resistance from counter-protesters, many of whom represent Antifa and BLM.
A large demonstration took place in Berlin midweek, after lawmakers passed a bill amending the existing infection protection law. The people insisted that the legislation gave the government too much control over their lives, as it obtained more powers to impose various restrictions. Police deployed water cannons as thousands of protesters refused to leave.
On Saturday, a major protest of the ‘Querdenken’ movement, which insists that the severity of the Chinese Virus hoax, was cancelled in Leipzig in the last minute, but there were still clashes between rivalling demonstrators and police.