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Thousands march in Berlin to protest coronavirus curbs

BERLIN, Aug 1 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/1/2020 12:27:32 PM IST

Thousands of demonstrators rallied in Berlin on Saturday to protest against measures imposed in Germany to stem the coronavirus pandemic, saying they violated people’s rights and freedoms.

The loose gathering, estimated by police at 15,000, included libertarians, constitutional loyalists and sceptics of the science behind policies to fight the pandemic. There was also a small far-right presence with some marchers carrying Germany’s imperial flag.

Protesters danced and sang ‘We are free people!’ to the tune of rock band Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’. Others marched with placards saying ‘We are making a noise because you are stealing our freedom!’ and ‘Do think! Don’t wear a mask!’.

The protests followed a rallying call from Michael Ballweg, an entrepreneur and political outsider who has organised similar rallies in Stuttgart and is running to become mayor of the southwestern city. “Our demand is to return to democracy,” said one protester. “The mask that enslaves us must go.”

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