Berlin authorities have banned the upcoming protest against Covid-19 lockdown measures, saying the marches were being misused as a stage for right-wing extremists and “deniers” of the pandemic.
Organizers of the August 29 “Assembly for Freedom” in central Berlin had registered 17,000 demonstrators. The local government says police will be out in force to prevent the gathering, because participants in the previous march “deliberately broke the rules” for wearing masks and social distancing.
“We are still in the middle of a pandemic with rising infection figures,” Berlin’s interior minister Andreas Geisel told reporters on Wednesday.
“This is not a decision against freedom of assembly, but a decision in favour of infection protection,” the minister said, adding that Berlin should not be “misused as a stage for corona deniers… and right-wing extremists.”…