Berlin Police Use Water Cannon at ‘Aggressive’ Protesters, Hundreds Arrested

Berlin police used water cannons to subdue “aggressive” demonstrators protesting against the government’s COVID-19 restrictions and made at least 200 arrests last Nov. 18.

Berlin police used water cannons to subdue “aggressive” demonstrators protesting against the government’s COVID-19 restrictions and made at least 200 arrests last Nov. 18.

Thousands gathered outside the parliament building to protest the parliamentary vote on passing restrictions against the pandemic, saying that it would give the government too much power and would lead to a “corona dictatorship.”

Right-wing political party Alternative for Germany compared the restrictions to the Enabling Act of 1933 that led to Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship.

According to the police, the crowd of protesters attacked officers with bottles, stones, pepper spray, and firecrackers, which prompted security forces to use water cannons to keep them away from the building.

“The democratic constitutional state is alive and the police are its protective shield,” Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said, whose ministry ordered the police to block a wide perimeter around the government building to avoid the protests from disturbing the parliamentary session.

Police also said that officers asked the protesters to stop the demonstrations due to most of them refusing to practice physical distancing and to wear masks, which is mandatory, despite repeated requests.

Around 2,200 police officers were deployed to subdue the protests.

The parliament was due to pass the amendments to the Infection Protection Act that lays out measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as rules on wearing masks and closing down shops.

State and local governments in the country already have imposed protective measures, and the amendments would clarify which restrictions can be ordered by the state governments.


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