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  • Tens of thousands in German COVID protests

    Author: AAP

Tens of thousands of people have demonstrated across Germany in the latest protests against policies to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The largest event on Saturday was held in Hamburg, where some 13,700 people attended, according to police.

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The organisers called on the attendees to wear masks and to keep distance from each other, in line with the rules, although many failed to heed the call.

One participant wore a Star of David with the inscription "unvaccinated," according to a police tweet. Officers added that they were investigating for incitement.

Several thousand people protested in the western city of Dusseldorf, marching into the city from the state parliament, police said.


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According to the organisers, 4000 people came to the event. Some carried posters saying "Stop the Corona Dictatorship," and "Against Exclusion."

In Magdeburg, police used pepper spray as a crowd of 5000 people marched through the city for several hours, bringing trams to a standstill and blocking the roads at times.

The coronavirus demonstration in Berlin took the form of a car-and-bike convoy. Police counted more than 100 vehicles, 70 bikes and around 200 people overall.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he viewed the protests as a new and frightening development in post-war German history.Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he viewed the protests as a new and frightening development in post-war German history.

He said the arguments made by vaccination opponents and COVID-19 deniers had lost all measure and focus.

"A small group is willing to wipe all scientific knowledge off the table and voluntarily enter a bubble of bogus truths," he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Saturday also saw counter-demonstrations to the coronavirus protests.

Some 2500 people turned out in the town of Minden in western Germany to oppose the "lateral thinkers," a group that has taken a leading role in organising protests against the government's policies.

The "Lateral Thinking" (Querdenken) movement includes coronavirus sceptics, far-right activists and anti-vaxxers.

One attendee held a poster that said, "Yes to freedom of opinion and togetherness - resolutely no to hatred, threats and violence."


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