Status: 01/17/2022 10:13 p.m
Thousands of people took to the streets nationwide for corona rallies. Some protested against the protective measures, others defended them. Occasionally there were incidents.
As on the previous Mondays, thousands of people across Germany protested against the corona measures and a possible vaccination requirement. The protests were accompanied by a large police presence and in many places by counter-demonstrations. At first there were only a few incidents. Meetings were broken up several times because the police could not find a leader or because the mask requirement was violated.
3000 people in Berlin
According to the police, thousands of people protested against the corona measures in Berlin. The police spoke of around 3,000 people across the city who took part in registered and unregistered demonstrations and marches. In many places, the demonstrators – including corona deniers, vaccination critics and conspiracy ideologues – encountered counter-protests.
One of the larger demonstrations moved from Alexanderplatz towards the Brandenburg Gate. There, the banner “Vaccinated and unvaccinated against the obligation to vaccinate” campaigned. Few people wore masks. A loudspeaker car rang out: “Merkel, Spahn, Steinmeier, Drosten to jail”. The train stopped in front of the ZDF capital city studio for an intermediate rally.
Pros and cons: Critics of the measures and participants in a counter-demonstration faced each other in front of the Gethsemane Church in Prenzlauer Berg.
Protests also in Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg
According to the first information from the state police headquarters in Thuringia, a total of more than 21,000 people attended meetings in numerous places. The police also reported high numbers of participants from Baden-Württemberg. In Rottweil, about 1,400 people took part in an unregistered train through the city, a spokesman said. In Ravensburg and Friedrichshafen, more than 1,000 people each took part in unregistered meetings.
In Cottbus, Brandenburg, the police broke up a protest action due to the lack of a leader. In one case, the police said they had to use tear gas because of resistance. According to a police spokeswoman, around 1,500 people had gathered in the city center after a call on social networks to protest against the state corona measures.
Rallies in Rostock, Greifswald and Cologne
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the atmosphere in the center of Rostock heated up after the dissolution of a meeting; the police used water cannons at two intersections. The protesters were surrounded. About a dozen troublemakers were temporarily arrested by the police, reports the dpa news agency. Parents with children were also asked to leave the congregation.
On the Greifswald market, citizens placed more than 1,500 candles to commemorate the Corona dead in the north-east. “We want to show that Corona is a reality,” said Michael Steiger from the “Greifswald for All” alliance. There are 1582 lights – according to the number of corona deaths that have been reported in the city so far, according to the State Office for Health and Social Affairs.
In the meantime, around 1,000 opponents of the corona protection measures and participants in a counter-demonstration under the motto “Cologne is solidarity” met in downtown Cologne. According to the police, there were initially no incidents.
Solidaritäts-Demo in Leipzig
In several Saxon cities, hundreds of people took to the streets to take a stand against corona deniers, opponents of vaccination and conspiracy believers. According to the news agency epd, between 400 and 500 people gathered on the central Augustusplatz in Leipzig under the motto “Show attitude” – including nursing staff and medical students. They campaigned for togetherness and showed solidarity with the Dresden medical students, who had recently symbolically stood around the university clinic there.
In Chemnitz, Dresden and Zwickau, too, people took to the streets against the ongoing protests against the Corona policy. A human chain was formed around the Zwickau Cathedral in memory of the Corona victims and candles were set up.
Different rules in the countries
The individual federal states have very different rules on the pandemic conditions under which unregistered gatherings are tolerated – for example with a view to the number of participants. In Magdeburg, for example, the police used loudspeakers to read out the valid general decree, according to which unregistered protests can only take place locally. Protest marches through the city are therefore prohibited.
A man successfully opposed the ban on unregistered corona demonstrations in the municipality of Bretten in Baden-Württemberg with an urgent application to the administrative court in Karlsruhe. For the time being, however, the decision only applies to the applicant and is not yet legally binding.
By the end of January, the municipality had banned “all meetings and substitute meetings that were not reported and not officially confirmed” in connection with general calls for “Monday walks” or “walks”. However, the court found that a ban must remain within the limits of proportionality.