Monday, 21 September 2020

Berlin police break up rally as 20,000 protest virus restrictions

BERLIN: Police officers in Berlin broke up a large rally against restrictions imposed to contain the novel coronavirus, held despite Germany’s rising infection numbers.

The organizers of the rally were unable to ensure safety regulations were being followed, a police spokesman told dpa.

The police broke up the event, attended by some 20,000 people. When some attendees failed to move on, police told them they were committing misdemeanours, which led to further yelling and booing.

The police also removed several organizers from the stage to shouts and boos from those attending the rally and used force when one person refused to comply.

A persistent group remained in front of the stage and some people were also carried away or forcibly removed by the police.

A total of 18 officers were injured dispersing the crowd, Berlin police tweeted early on Sunday. Three officers had to be treated in hospital.

The police said some 17,000 people had taken part in an initial march through the city centre, ending at the city’s landmark Brandenburg Gate.

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