Anti-lockdown protesters beat their way through police
In the German city of Mannheim, anti-lockdown protesters have confronted police who were trying to break up an unauthorized rally, leaving 13 officers wounded.
One of the officers had to be hospitalized as a result. The demonstrators had ignored a ban on public gatherings, taking to the city streets regardless, to hold what they described as a “stroll.” According to police estimates, as many as 800 people turned up at various locations on Monday evening. Among the slogans heard at the rally were “Peace, Freedom, no Dictatorship,” as well as “We are the people!” The demonstrators also set off a few firecrackers along their route.
At first, police were simply notifying the people through loudspeakers that they were violating the regional regulations, which, in turn, led to several altercations, and eventually a brawl that was caught on camera. In the unverified footage circulating on social media, a group of protesters are seen forcing their way through a police line, with some throwing “deliberate punches at the officers,” as Patrick Knapp, a spokesperson for Mannheim police, told the media.
Authorities detained 13 protesters suspected of attacking the police, and issued warnings to another 131 for violating the ban on public gatherings.
Police have also vowed to monitor social media more closely in the coming days for signs of trouble brewing.
Another similar protest in the same region, in the town of Weinheim, also descended into violence between activists and law enforcement, with two officers reportedly sustaining injuries.
Unauthorized protests against Covid measures were also held in the city of Rostock, with 10,000 people attending, according to local media. Several thousand people gathered in Schwerin, Magdeburg, and Cottbus as well. All those demonstrations passed without incident, with no reports of clashes or violence.