Thousands protest coronavirus restrictions in Germany

Thousands march along the ‘Friedrichstrasse’ during the demonstration against corona measures in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. The initiative “Querdenken 711” has called for this. The motto of the demonstration is “The end of the pandemic – Freedom Day”. (Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP)

Over in Germany, people are protesting coronavirus restrictions. This is happening while the country is experiencing its second wave of the virus.

With few masks insight, holding up signs that read “we are the second wave” a dense crowd marched through downtown Berlin from the Brandenburg Gate.

They came from across the country holding up homemade signs with slogans like “Corona, false alarm,” “We are being forced to wear a muzzle,” “Natural defence instead of vaccination.”

Police estimated that about 17,000 people turned out. They used bullhorns to chide participants to adhere to social distancing rules and to wear masks, apparently with little success. They tweeted that they drew up a criminal complaint against the rally’s organizer for failing to enforce hygiene rules, then said shortly afterward that the organizer had ended the march.

Protests against anti-virus restrictions in Germany have long drawn a variety of attendees, including conspiracy theorists and right-wing populists. They were faced by counter-protesters chanting “Nazis Out”

Germany’s government has been praised worldwide for its management of the pandemic. The country’s death toll — just over 9,150 people out of more than 210,670 confirmed virus cases as of Saturday.