200 ARRESTED AS ANTI-COVID RESTRICTIONS RALLY IN BERLIN TURNS VIOLENT
Some 200 people were temporarily detained during protests against coronavirus restrictions in Berlin on Wednesday, which also resulted in violent clashes with police at times, Esteban Engel reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
More than 8,000 demonstrators gathered around the Brandenburg Gate and other parts of Berlin's government district, while around 2,200 police officers from several federal states were deployed to monitor the protest. Demonstrators called out slogans including: "Peace, freedom, no dictatorship" and "We are the people." A placard read: "No to a law that disempowers citizens."
Police ordered the rally to be dissolved at noon (1000 GMT, 6 p.m. in Manila) because many participants did not adhere to hygiene rules in place to contain the spread of the virus.
Those detained are accused of violating containment rules, attacking emergency service personnel, resisting law enforcement officers and attempting to release detainees.
The crowd dispersed to other parts of Berlin, with one group heading towards the Bellevue Palace, the seat of the German president.
Police said up to 3,000 participants gathered there before being dispersed due to various violations of coronavirus hygiene rules. By early evening, only a few demonstrators were in the palace vicinity.