Anti-lockdown demonstrators proclaim Freedom Day in Germany

Protesters against coronavirus restrictions have gathered in Berlin for a demonstration titled The End Of The Pandemic — Freedom Day.

It comes amid increasing concern about an upturn in infections in Germany.

A crowd of people whistling and cheering, and with few masks in sight, marched from the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday ahead of a rally on a wide boulevard that runs through the city’s Tiergarten park.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>A woman wears a Angela Merkel mask with the inscription “Bye bye democracy”(Christoph Soeder/AP)</figcaption>
A woman wears a Angela Merkel mask with the inscription “Bye bye democracy”(Christoph Soeder/AP)

Protesters held up homemade placards featuring slogans that included “Corona, false alarm”, “We are being forced to wear a muzzle” and “Natural defence instead of vaccination”.

Some chanted: “We’re here and we’re loud, because we are being robbed of our freedom.”

Police estimated that about 17,000 people turned out.

Demonstrations against restrictions this year have drawn a variety of people, including some conspiracy theorists and right-wing populists.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Thousands march along the Friedrichstrasse (Christoph Soeder/AP)</figcaption>
Thousands march along the Friedrichstrasse (Christoph Soeder/AP)

People came from various parts of Germany for Saturday’s protest.

Germany’s management of the pandemic has widely been viewed as relatively successful, with a lower death rate than comparable countries.

The country has been easing lockdown measures since late April but social-distancing rules remain in place, as does a requirement to wear masks in public transport and shops.

Infection figures have crept up over the past few weeks and officials have warned against complacency.

Germany’s national disease control centre registered 955 new cases on Friday, a high figure by recent standards.

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