icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

WATCH protesters light flares, gather for Walpurgis Night in Berlin despite ban on mass rallies during Covid-19 lockdown

Police have broken up a Walpurgis Night demonstration in Berlin, where protesters had gathered in violation of the quarantine measures imposed amid the Covid-19 pandemic. More unauthorized rallies are expected on May Day.

A few dozen black-clad masked left-wing activists had gathered in the German capital’s Friedrichshain District on Thursday evening, despite the ban on large public assemblies. They waved burning flares while standing on two balconies of a house, set up loudspeakers and hung banners from windows.

Police arrived at the scene and ordered the protesters to clear the area. No major clashes were reported, but the officers were filmed detaining at least one person. However, according to Die Welt, "dozens" of people were detained or had their personal data checked. No arrest figures have been reported by police as of Friday morning.

Around 100 people had staged a rally earlier on Thursday, with activists wearing masks and keeping a distance from each other. Also that day, a group of young people had occupied an abandoned residential building in the city's Westend area, with plans to set up a "youth project" there. The squatters were cleared by police several hours later.

Berlin and other German cities usually see large demonstrations on May 1. However, due to the quarantine measures, the authorities have allowed only around 20 rallies in the capital, including a protest against the lockdown, with no more than 20 people present at each gathering. Some left-wing groups have called on social media to stage other, unauthorized rallies.

Around 5,000 police officers were deployed to maintain order in Berlin. The city's Interior Minister Andreas Geisel said that the authorities are "ready" for unauthorized protests. The police will "act proportionately, but consistently," he warned. 

Also on rt.com ‘Immunity’ with benefits? Germans worried as govt mulls IDs ‘making life easier’ for Covid-19 survivors

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Podcasts