In the heart of the city of Berlin, roughly 40,000 people gathered peacefully to send a signal to the German government against COVID-19 restrictions.
The restrictions are, in many peoples' views, far too extreme, unnecessary and in violation of fundamental human rights and democracy.
The organisation behind the rally is called Querdenken, which translates to English as “critical thinking”. Querdenken organizers highlighted very specifically that this protest was a peaceful protest.
The Social Democrat mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, responded to the protests:
“It annoys me beyond measure, they are traveling from Frankfurt, Stuttgart to Berlin and make riots in our city. They don't know what the facts are and therefore risking the health of other people.”
The Social Democrats Senator for the Interior Andreas Geisel declared on mainstream news:
“I am not prepared to accept that Berlin is misused as a stage for COVID 19 deniers and right-wing extremists.”
The city officially banned the demonstration, but counter-protests against the anti-lockdown Querdenken protest was allowed.
Fight between the Judiciary and Police
During the march to the location where the official protest's program took place, the police threatened to officially ban the march due to the the same COVID-19 restrictions that Querdenken rallied against.
The police closed off the whole block with fences, and protesters couldn’t get out.
After 30 minutes, the highest judge in Berlin intervened to allow the demonstration to continue.
But the police are against it, and they decided to end the march.
At the Siegessäule in the centre of Berlin, Robert Kennedy Jr. gave an emotional and inspirational speech to the tens of thousands of people in attendance.