Berlin, Aug 1 (EFE) .- Thousands of protesters mobilized in Berlin today, called by organizations of various kinds, including far-right groups, against the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic and despite the increasing number of new infections.
The march began in the vicinity of the emblematic Brandenburg Gate, towards the Victory Column. There is a large gathering scheduled for the afternoon, which is intended to celebrate “the end of the pandemic.”
Among the protesters, some 7,000, according to regional public television RBB, ranged from small merchants unhappy with the restrictions on public life to groups of people who consider these limitations to be an attack on the right to freedom of movement.
There was also a notable presence of banners alluding to an alleged “conspiracy” orchestrated by the pharmaceutical industry and US billionaire Bill Gates, anti-vaccine and far-right movements demanding the “end of Angela Merkel.”
The common slogan of these movements is the call to resistance and to celebrate “Freedom Day”, a phrase that, for some organizers, refers to the title of the film about the 1935 Nazi party congress directed by Leni Riefelstahl, the filmmaker who worked in the service of Adolf Hitler’s propaganda apparatus.
The Berlin authorities have arranged a strong security device, since in addition to this mobilization there are called leftist marches, in addition to the “spontaneous” parties that have been taking place in the German capital for weeks, sometimes with thousands of participants.
FREE CONTACTS AND TESTING
The demonstration for the end of the restrictions comes at a time of great concern between the federal government of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the regional powers over the increase in new infections, whether they are called “imported” or the ones that are generating in the country itself.
According to data from the Robert Koch Institut (RKI), in the last 24 hours there were 955 new infections – compared to between 800 and 850 a week ago or between 300 and 350 in mid-June. The total count of verified infections is 209,653, with 9,148 fatalities.
From this Saturday, Germany offers free tests to travelers returning from abroad, tests that will be mandatory starting Monday for those who come from risky regions, in order to avoid quarantine.
The norm is in force from this Saturday, according to indications of the Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, who defends the gratuitousness of these tests despite the criticism of those who consider that they should be at the expense of each traveler so as not to overburden public health.
(c) EFE Agency