United Kingdom

Hundreds clash with police at Berlin protest against German government's Covid restrictions 

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters defied a court-ordered protest ban on Sunday, gathering in Berlin and scuffling with police. 

Local authorities banned several different protests due for this weekend, including one organised by the Stuttgart-based Querdenker movement, which had expected some 22,500 attendees. 

Berlin's police department, which deployed more than 2,000 officers, said officers who sought to redirect protesters or disband larger groups were 'harassed and attacked'.

'They tried to break through police cordon and pull out our colleagues,' it said, adding that police used irritants and batons against the protesters. 

The protests, at different sites across the city, led to multiple arrests, police said. 

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters defied a court-ordered protest ban on Sunday, gathering in Berlin and scuffling with police

Local authorities banned several different protests due for this weekend over concerns about mask wearing and social distancing

One planned protest, organised by the Stuttgart-based Querdenker movement, had expected some 22,500 attendees

Berlin's police department deployed more than 2,000 officers across the German capital on Sunday in anticipation of breaches of the ban

Berlin police said officers who sought to redirect protesters or disband larger groups were 'harassed and attacked'

Some of the demonstrators held up signs saying 'Freedom' and 'No to the corona dictatorship', with few masks seen among them. 

As the crowds made their way toward the Brandenburg Gate, police warned via loudspeaker that they would use water cannons if protesters did not disperse.

Germany eased many coronavirus restrictions in May, allowing restaurants and bars to reopen. 

Still, many activities, such as dining indoors at restaurants or staying in a hotel, require proof that an individual is either fully vaccinated, has recovered from the virus or can show proof of a recent negative coronavirus test.

A court said it could not allow the rallies planned for this weekend to go ahead over fears that participants would flout rules on mask wearing and social distancing, at a time when Germany's infection numbers are on the rise again. 

Police said protesters 'tried to break through police cordon and pull out our colleagues' and added that police used irritants and batons against the protesters

The protests, at different sites across the city, led to multiple arrests, police said on Sunday

Some of the demonstrators held up signs saying 'Freedom' and 'No to the corona dictatorship', with few masks seen among them

As the crowds made their way toward the Brandenburg Gate, police warned via loudspeaker that they would use water cannons if protesters did not disperse

The Querdenker movement, the largest and most visible anti-lockdown movement in Germany, has at times drawn thousands to its demonstrations, uniting an eclectic mix of those opposed to vaccinations on both the right and the left, coronavirus deniers, conspiracy theorists and right-wing extremists.

Earlier this year, Germany's domestic intelligence service warned the movement was becoming increasingly radical and put some of its adherents under surveillance.

The protest Sunday follows other demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions around Europe. 

Thousands have turned out for the past three weekends in France to protest a vaccine health pass that people will need to enter stadiums or restaurants, at times clashing with French police. 

Another 80,000 people also protested in cities across Italy last weekend. 

Cases are rising in Germany, which recorded 1,806 new infections on Saturday and three deaths. 

Germany eased many coronavirus restrictions in May, allowing restaurants and bars to reopen. Still, many activities, such as dining indoors at restaurants or staying in a hotel, require proof that an individual is either fully vaccinated, has recovered from the virus or can show proof of a recent negative coronavirus test

A court said it could not allow the rallies planned for this weekend to go ahead over fears that participants would flout rules on mask wearing and social distancing, at a time when Germany's infection numbers are on the rise again

One of the organisers was the Querdenker movement, the largest and most visible anti-lockdown movement in Germany, has at times drawn thousands to its demonstrations, uniting an eclectic mix of those opposed to vaccinations on both the right and the left, coronavirus deniers, conspiracy theorists and right-wing extremists

Earlier this year, Germany's domestic intelligence service warned the Querdenker movement was becoming increasingly radical and put some of its adherents under surveillance. Pictured: A protester is escorted by police on Sunday

Football news:

The police could not find fans who racially insulted ex - Southampton player Yankevits
I am not a victim of racism. I'm black and proud. Menyan responded to the insults of Juventus fans
Phil Jones will be in the Manchester United squad for the game against West Ham. He has not played since January 2020
Falcao scored the winning goal in the 96th minute for Athletic, coming on as a substitute in the 76th. He has 2 goals in 2 games for Rayo Vallecano
Coach Wycombe about 1:6 with City: A special 22 minutes! An incredible event for our fans
Strakosha could not hold back tears when he saw the Lazio fans' banner. He was supported after an autogall with Galatasaray
Coach Spezia Motta on Juventus: They are going through a difficult moment, but we must show the maximum, play our football