BERLIN PROTESTS AFOOT AS COURT LIFTS BAN ON MARCH VS COVID RULES
A demonstration against coronavirus restrictions can take place in Berlin this weekend, after a second court ruling to overturn a ban that had enraged protesters, Stefan Kruse and Rachel More reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) on August 29, 2020.
Authorities had announced the ban earlier this week after an event by the same organizers at the start of the month was broken up because the participants - numbering tens of thousands - were not wearing masks or keeping the required distance from one another.
Berlin state Interior Minister Andreas Geisel had argued that he was concerned that Saturday's protest would again flout the rules. He also took aim at right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists within the movement. Saturday's demonstrations are being planned by the Stuttgart-based Querdenken 711 (Lateral Thinking 711.)
A spokesperson for the administrative court in the capital said the demonstration could go ahead as long as they adhered to certain conditions, for example by maintaining social distancing. A parade planned before the demonstration will also be allowed to go ahead, although it will have to take a different route along larger thoroughfares. The court made two separate decisions as different members of Querdenken 711 had applied for separate events in different parts of central Berlin. In the early hours of Saturday, an appeal by police was rejected by a higher court, which gave the final decision to invalidate the protest ban.
On Friday evening, there was another gathering of some 100 Querdenken 711 supporters close to the capital's iconic Brandenburg Gate.