Multiple minor scuffles between police and protesters have erupted at a massive rally against coronavirus restrictions in Berlin, while law enforcement prepares to disperse the demo with force.
Thousands of people gathered in central Berlin on Saturday, venting their anger over coronavirus curbs. City authorities tried to ban the gathering but their decision was challenged and overturned in court. Still, the court said police could shut down the protest if its organizers fail to maintain proper social distancing in the crowd.
#Berlin: At least 18,000 far-right protesters, anti-vaxxers and coronavirus sceptics have gathered in central Berlin to protest against health-related measures. Videos shared on social media show multiple scuffles between protesters and police officers. pic.twitter.com/0YBUZIkXP6
— I.E.N. (@BreakingIEN) August 29, 2020
The rally has been marred by multiple scuffles between the protesters and police and several people have been detained, footage from the scene shows.
While law enforcement urged protesters to observe proper social distancing rules, the streets remained tightly packed. Ultimately, Berlin police announced its intent to disperse the crowd by force, insisting that this was the only option.
“Unfortunately, we have no other option,” Berlin police said on Twitter. “We’ve approached the leader of the demonstration and informed him that his assembly will be dissolved by the police. All the measures taken so far have not led to compliance with the conditions.”
Several water cannon trucks have been spotted in the area, though the vehicles have not yet moved. Law enforcement warned the protesters through loudspeakers of the imminent dispersal of the demo, urging them to leave the streets peacefully.
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