German police clash with Covid protesters in Kassel

A demonstrator holds a giant puppet depicting a devil with a vaccine during a protest against the government's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Kassel, Germany March 20, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

German police clash with protesters at a mass demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in the city of Kassel.

The protest attracted between 15,000 and 20,000 demonstrators, a Kassel police spokesperson told, making it one of the largest such rallies so far this year.

Scuffles erupt when a group of corona sceptics tried to break through a police cordon to join up with other protesters, resulting in shoving and the use pepper spray. 
Elsewhere in the city, police used batons and fired water cannon at people trying to break through barriers and throwing bottles. There were also tussles with counter-demonstrators as the anti-Covid protesters strayed from the authorised protest sites and spread throughout the city.

The protest was called by the "Querdenker" or Lateral Thinkers movement, an umbrella group that has organised Germany's main "anti-corona" demonstrations since the start of the pandemic.
The movement has drawn in people from the far-left, conspiracy theory believers, anti-vaxxers and right-wing extremists.
Some of them don't believe the pandemic is real, while others claim the curbs imposed to rein in the virus infringe on their civil rights.
Saturday's protest comes as Germany is battling a sharp rise in infection rates despite months of shutdowns, and experts have warned that the country's vaccination drive is too slow to ward off a third coronavirus wave.

(Source: AFP) 

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