Berlin (dpa) – After several demonstrations, including those from the “lateral thinker” scene in Berlin, have gathered around Olympic Square in Charlottenburg, hundreds of people have gathered.
There were clashes between protesters and the police. Police say there have been attempts to break through barriers. “Physical violence had to be used here in individual cases,” a police spokeswoman said on Sunday. There have been isolated arrests. According to the police, the gathering of about 2,000 people should be seen as a prohibited surrogate event.
Sometimes people sat down on the street. There were whistles, loud cries such as “Peace, Freedom, Democracy” and police vehicles with sirens. A police helicopter was also in the air. According to a dpa reporter, pepper spray was used to arrest protesters when some other protesters tried to stop the police from doing so.
The train of people has now moved on. According to the dpa reporter, there were hundreds of people on the road between Theodor-Heuss-Platz and Wilmersdorfer Straße in the early afternoon. In some places, police officers had cleared the way.
The Berlin police had banned several demonstrations this weekend for fear of violations of hygiene requirements. This also includes a rally of the Stuttgart “lateral thinking 711” initiative, which originally registered 22,500 participants for the afternoon. The Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court confirmed the ban late Saturday night.
Schäuble criticizes “lateral thinkers”
A number of other events, some of which by their title also target the politics of the coronavirus pandemic, could take place against it. A parade of cars was planned in the Olympic Square. Motorcades have a different hygiene concept, says the police spokeswoman. In the morning, however, people also flocked there on foot.
Bundestag chairman Wolfgang Schäuble had previously sharply attacked the ‘lateral thinker’ scene. “If virtually all experts around the world say that Corona is dangerous and vaccination helps, who has the right to say: But I’m smarter? To me, that is an almost unbearable degree of arrogance,” said Schäuble of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. The CDU politician appealed to the scene: “Look at the scientific findings, don’t be fooled by cheap slogans!” Schäuble added, “Even with lateral thinkers, the emphasis should be on ‘thinking’ and not on ‘lateral’.”