Thousands in Berlin Protest COVID-19 Measures

Thousands in Berlin Protest COVID-19 Measures
A police officer leads a demonstrator into a police van as protestors gathered to protest against coronavirus restrictions, in Berlin, Germany, on Aug. 28, 2021. (Christophe Gateau/dpa via AP)

BERLIN—Thousands turned out in Berlin on Saturday to protest the government’s coronavirus measures, despite bans against several planned gatherings.

Police banned nine planned demonstrations for Saturday, including one from the Stuttgart-based Querdenker movement, the most visible anti-lockdown movement in Germany. A court ruled in favor of allowing one protest, planned for 500 people, on Saturday and Sunday.

More than 2,000 police officers were stationed around the city to respond to those who showed up despite the bans.

Meanwhile, a counter-protest called the “Love Train,” complete with techno music, drew a large crowd of its own. Those demonstrators support government restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The Saturday protests come amid debates in Germany about how and whether to impose restrictions for unvaccinated people.

Similar protests took place in Berlin in early August, which ended in clashes with police and hundreds of people detained.