|image via rt|
Protesters have taken to the streets in downtown Berlin to denounce a bill that would enshrine lockdown measures into German law. The police detained several people and deployed water cannons when the crowd refused to leave.
Thousands have gathered at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, which is located in the heart of Berlin, near the country’s parliament building, the Bundestag. Protesters held signs reading “Wake Up,”“Free Speech,” and “For Enlightenment. Peace and Freedom.”
One person carried a banner with the words “Merkel must go, democracy must stay!” referring to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Barricades were set up to prevent protesters from getting too close to the Bundestag. The police were filmed detaining several people.
Gleich zu Beginn heute etwas mehr Konsequenz: Hier setzt eine Polizistin die Maskenpflicht durch. Zuvor bat sie den Mann mehrfach, eine Maske aufzusetzen, oder ihr ein gültiges Attest zu zeigen. Er war nicht besonders kooperativ. #b1811 pic.twitter.com/h1erILfwWY— Felix Huesmann (@felixhuesmann) November 18, 2020
Water cannons were later deployed when protesters refused to leave.
BERLIN 18.11.2020 - ANTI-CORONA DEMO— Trinity (@23_Trinity) November 18, 2020
Water cannons and tear gas against peaceful people for mask order violations. Brutal arrests of members of the opposition. pic.twitter.com/GOlqYKIYvp
#BREAKING: Police are now using water cannons against demonstrators who demonstrating against #Merkel's government and its #Corona policy in #Berlin!#Protect2020 #b1811 #germany #Be1811 #b1711 #berlindemo #Demoberlin #Demo #Covid_19 #Covid #COVID19 #coronademo #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/o4CBxHtXgm— Faruk Firat (@FarukFirat1987) November 18, 2020
Lawmakers are expected to pass a bill on Wednesday that would write a long list of concrete quarantine measures, such as mask-wearing and social distancing rules, into the country’s existing law on protection from infections.
The government argues that the change is necessary if there is to be a robust response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Critics say the bill was put forward in a rushed manner and would give the government too much power in regulating the lives of ordinary people.