A large crowd that includes members of the anti-vaccine movement, far-right and neo-Nazi groups have gathered for a “sit-in” at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate to protest against the German government’s coronavirus restrictions.
A march earlier Saturday that was criticized by police for not adhering to rules on social distancing and face masks was halted by organizers. Police filed a criminal complaint against one organizer for violating hygiene rules.
Current coronavirus guidelines in Germany stipulate that people must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters (around 5 feet). Where that is not possible, face masks must be worn.
Police warned the roughly 17,000 protesters who participated in the earlier march would only be allowed to participate in the demonstration at Brandenburg Gate if they wore face coverings and maintained social distance.
A live stream from the protest showed almost no one wearing a face mask although the master of ceremonies told the crowd from the stage to maintain physical distance so as not to give the authorities “a pretext” for breaking up the event.