They denounce a “corona dictatorship”. Some 20,000 people, most of them without masks, gathered on Saturday in Leipzig, in eastern Germany, to protest against the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, with a large police deployment for fear of overflows.
The police said in the evening to have made “arrests” without further details. Previously, she had assured that there had been “many attacks” against the police, evoking the throwing of “objects” and “fireworks” while the media broadcast images of jets of projectiles.
Clashes were still reported in the evening. Protesters also forced a cordon of security forces near Leipzig central station.
The police had ordered at the end of the afternoon the dissolution of the demonstrators because “90% of them” did not wear a mask and did not respect the required distance of 1.50 m between two people, according to police spokesperson Olaf Hoppe.
“Merkel must go!”
Some people, who responded to the call of a motley collective posing as “free thinkers”, attacked journalists and counter-demonstrators who had also planned to march in the center of this great city. student, stronghold of the radical left movement and anarchist.
But ignoring the dispersal orders, hundreds of people marched on one of Leipzig’s main arteries with cries of “Merkel must go!” “And” peace, freedom, no dictatorship, “according to the DPA agency. German “Reich flags”, in memory of the Empire which disappeared after the First World War, were waved in the crowd.
A group of protesters held up placards with a photo montage showing Chancellor Angela Merkel and other political leaders in convict clothes crossed out with the word “guilty” (“schuldig”).
These opponents of measures linked to the Covid-19 epidemic include anti-vaccine activists, conspirators or even far-right sympathizers. “For me there is no virus, they take the coronavirus crisis as a reason but there are other things behind”, assured a protester, Anne, 65 years old. Another, Robert Köhn, 39, insisted that the measures taken by the government were “disproportionate”.
A bastion of the far right
Saxony, the regional state in which Leipzig is located, is a stronghold of the far right which has achieved its best scores for several years. The organizers, already at the origin of several rallies this summer in Berlin and in October in Constance (southwest) 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 of the seat of the Chamber of Deputies (Bundestag).
Germany was one of the first European countries where such opposition to the restrictions arose. With the rebound of the pandemic this fall on the continent, protest rallies have taken place in Spain and Italy in particular, sometimes accompanied by clashes.
These clashes come as the number of new daily infections reached a record high in Germany this Saturday, at more than 23,000, bringing the number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 11,226. Since Monday, restaurants, bars, cafes but also all the museums, theaters, sports halls have closed their doors for four weeks.
Although Germany has not decreed containment as in France or other European countries, these new restrictions have aroused some dissatisfaction in a population which has until then rather approved and scrupulously followed the health directives.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr