Coronavirus protest in Berlin: shock after excesses

Around 38,000 people gathered in Berlin on Saturday to protest against Germany's coronavirus restrictions. Demonstrators tolerated neo-Nazis who also took part in the event, several riots broke out and aggressive protesters broke through security barriers and ran up the steps to the Reichstag in an attempt to force their way into the building. Press comments reflect shock and indignation.

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Der Standard (AT) /

Hatred eating its way into the centre of society

Der Standard finds the rallies alarming:

“This is the kind of contempt and hatred for the system we have already seen at the anti-Islamic demos of the Pegida movement. But this rage is eating its way into the centre of society. There is talk of a Merkel dictatorship, of a terror regime, even the image of the Nazi resistance fighter Sophie Scholl (the White Rose) is being misused. All sense of proportion has completely disappeared. When the government's coronavirus policy is equated with Nazi policies, great chasms open up. Mouth and nose protection is not a measure for torture. But the so-called bourgeois spectrum apparently doesn't care anymore that the AfD and NPD also called for this demonstration.” (DE) /

You don't demonstrate alongside neo-Nazis

The fact that the organisers and many demonstrators apparently don't care who they march through the streets with is appalling, writes

“They tolerated the German Imperial War Flags in their ranks, and they didn't publicly distance themselves, didn't protest against this either before or during the demonstration. They therefore discredited themselves. Those who join forces with right-wing extremists do not represent legitimate interests. ... Why weren't the Nazis declared undesirables either during or before the demonstration? It was clear that this was coming. No one can say they didn't know about the Nazis.”

Duma (BG) /

No right to harm others

The coronavirus protests in Berlin and other cities are based on an false concept of freedom, Duma writes:

“The protesters clearly believe that they have the right to be free to come into contact with the virus, or the right to get sick is they wish to and even to risk their lives if the disease becomes established in their bodies and moves from organ to organ. ... What's more, these people who reject any kind of restriction clearly believe that they have the right to put not only themselves at risk, but also their families, friends, colleagues and neighbours. ... When freedoms and rights are claimed by infantile brains, they become anti-values that are dangerous to society.”