People in Berlin and Stuttgart have taken to the streets to protest against a loss of freedoms amid the coronavirus pandemic. Germany has enacted a series of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Hundreds of people took part in demonstrations in the cities of Berlin and Stuttgart on Saturday against government measures introduced to protect the country from coronavirus.
Around 1,000 protesters gathered in the German capital at the Volksbühne theater near the city center. Protesters shouted “I want my life back” and held up signs with slogans such as “Protect constitutional rights.”
The protesters handed out newspapers questioning the need for lockdown measures and claiming the coronavirus is an attempt to seize power by spreading fear. Police spokesman Thilo Cablitz said permission was granted to distribute the newspaper, but that health authorities had not approved the gathering itself.
“During coronavirus times and according to containment regulations, we are obliged to prevent a gathering,” Cablitz said.
Police, who cordoned off the square directly in front of the building in an effort to prevent crowding, used megaphones to call on attendees to disperse and said they arrested more than 100 people.
It was the fourth consecutive Saturday of protests in Berlin. Police said they deployed 180 officers to respond to the latest gathering. Participants have included well-known far-right populists and conspiracy theorists.