By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Protests against lengthy coronavirus-related lockdowns have spread in Europe where most people have died in the global pandemic, devastating economies and wracking lives of millions. In Germany, the continent’s largest economy, police detained dozens of protesters over the weekend for violating the strict lockdown measures they were demonstrating against.
About 1,000 people turned out for the rally in Berlin, the capital, which has become a weekly event there, witnesses said. This weekend’s protest attracted mainly far-left activists as well as some right-wing supporters and members of other fringe groups. Police put up barriers around Rosa Luxemburg square, where demonstrators headed, warning them the protest “is not in line with the rules.”
Several activists wore T-shirts accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of “banning life,” while others called for “freedom.” Others brandished placards bearing slogans such as “Stop the pharmaceutical lobby.” The protest was unauthorized as a result of emergency rules in Berlin banning gatherings of more than 20 people.
But protesters called for “an end to the state of emergency” as Germany has one of the lowest death tolls for the virus. Nearly 6,000
people died in Germany of the coronavirus disease COVID-19. Anger also erupted along the Polish-German border. Polish residents who work in Germany reportedly protested against the border closure, with many chanting to let them work. Poland was one of the first European Union states to close borders due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Elsewhere in Europe, hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Austria in defiance of a police ban against the gathering. Some 200 people rallied in the capital Vienna demanding an end to restrictions that have been in the alpine nation for more than a month, footage showed.
The protests followed several days of riots in Paris, France, where residents in low-income suburbs have been outraged about lockdowns and perceived heavy handiness by police. Anti-lockdown demonstrations have not become as typical in Europe as they have in the United States, where protesters rallied in several states. Governments in Europe are only slowly reopening countries as the death toll passed 116,000 deaths over the weekend. Worldwide more than 200,000 people have died of COVID-19, according to official estimates.
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