Tens of thousands of people want to demonstrate in Berlin this afternoon against the restrictions in the corona crisis. Despite the increasing number of infections in Germany, many participants want to work towards an end to all conditions. The police meanwhile must ensure that the distance and hygiene rules are observed during the rallies. Berlin's Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) said on Friday that he expected every participant to respect the rules and behave responsibly.
According to the police, around 10,000 participants have registered for the rally under the motto The End of the Pandemic - Freedom Day . The Quer Thinking 711 initiative from Stuttgart called for this. The demonstration is scheduled to take place in the afternoon on Straße des 17. Juni and is approved until 10 p.m. Nationwide was mobilized for the demonstration, participants traveled by bus. Neo-Nazi organizations have also called for participation, said Berlin interior senator Andreas Geisel (SPD).
As the Tagesspiegel reports, groups of people were already standing close together in the morning and chanted "We are the second wave". Right symbols were also displayed openly. According to an AFP reporter, several thousand people started to move near the Brandenburg Gate. Accordingly, mouthguards were worn by practically none of the demonstrators.
A special challenge for the police
The Quer Thinking 711 initiative has already demonstrated repeatedly in Stuttgart. Critics of these protests fear confiscation by conspiracy theorists and right-wing populists. The ver.di union spoke of an extreme right-wing alliance. At the demonstration on Saturday, freedom of the press and physical assault against journalists were feared, she said.
Geisel spoke of a "special challenge" for the police. You will see to what extent it is possible to enforce the corona requirements such as distance rules and the mask requirement with such large crowds. If necessary, fines would be imposed and demonstrators would also be temporarily detained in the event of acts of resistance.
According to Geisel, a total of around 80 events have been registered in Berlin this weekend, for which around 22,000 participants are expected. 1,500 police officers will be deployed. According to the police, around 3,000 people who want to campaign for peace, diversity of opinion and democracy have registered for a rally on March 18 at the Brandenburg Gate in the afternoon. The police also have to accompany several smaller demonstrations in the capital at the weekend - and also keep an eye on parties in parks.