German citizens protested over the re-implementation of lockdown, clashed with police officers using water cannons, pepper spray, and batons against people trying to break through police barriers.
More than 20,000 people joined the protest in Kassel, Germany where there also were confrontations between the demonstrators and counter-protesters.
The anti-lockdown protesters marched through downtown Kassel despite a court ban in which most of them did not wear face masks and some have attacked officers and journalists, according to local media.
Protests against government measures due to the pandemic were also reported in several other countries across Europe, including Austria, the UK, Finland, Romania, and Switzerland.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany will have to apply an “emergency brake” and reverse some recent relaxations of restrictions as coronavirus infections accelerate.
The country’s national disease control center said new infections were growing as the “more contagious COVID-19” variant was first detected in the United Kingdom has become dominant in the country.
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