New “anti-mask” demonstrations in Germany

BERLIN | Several “anti-mask” demonstrations took place in Germany on Saturday, including one in Frankfurt, marked by the use of water cannons targeting counter-demonstrators, police said.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

In Frankfurt (Hesse, center), nearly a thousand people demonstrated in the city center at the call of the collective “Querdenker” (“Free thinker”), at the initiative of several rallies in recent months against anti-Covid restrictions, according to local police.

Several hundred people took part in this parade “against the lockdown”, authorized by the authorities, but disturbed by around 200 counter-demonstrators from the anti-racist movement, who deployed a banner “The right on the ground”.

The police used a water cannon to disperse the counter-demonstration, which had not received authorization.

In Regensburg (Bavaria, south), around 700 demonstrators, according to local police, also demonstrated, without incident, against the restrictions, in particular the wearing of masks and the closure of bars and restaurants.

Demonstrations are also scheduled for Sunday in cities in western Germany, including Lindau and Erlangen.

On November 7, violence broke out during a demonstration bringing together 20,000 anti-masks in Leipzig (Saxony, east).

The police, who had made arrests, had assured to have been targeted by “many attacks”, including throwing “objects” and “fireworks”.

Angela Merkel’s government denounced the violence the next day and warned against the conspiracy theories conveyed, according to him, in these parades.

These opponents of measures linked to the COVID-19 epidemic include anti-vaccine activists, conspirators or even far-right sympathizers.

The organizers, already at the origin of other gatherings since the summer in several German cities, have been in the crosshairs of the authorities since at the end of August, several hundred demonstrators had forced security barriers to climb the steps. the seat of the Chamber of Deputies (Bundestag).

Germany was one of the first European countries where such opposition to the restrictions arose.

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