Germany: Police scuffle with Antifa counter-protesters blocking COVID-sceptic march

Numerous scuffles and detentions took place in Berlin on Sunday afternoon, as Antifa activists tried to disrupt the 'Silent march' held by coronavirus sceptics. German riot police officers used pepper spray to clear Bornholmer street as a group of left-wing counter-protesters, wearing black clothes and locking their hands tight, managed to set a sit-in blockade at the start of the coronavirus sceptics rally. Some officers were seen using punches to forcibly remove the activists. More leftist activists could be seen whistling, banging on pots and chanting slogans to oppose the ‘Silent march’ on its route through Berlin's central quarters. According to local media, around 600 police officers were on duty in Berlin on Sunday amid the demonstrations. Several other detentions of Antifa group members took place on Alexanderplatz, where the coronavirus sceptics were finishing their demonstration. Much less than originally expected, a few hundred people — mostly wearing masks and obeying safe distance rules — took part in the so-called 'Silent march' to protest against measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Previously, massive violence broke out between coronavirus deniers, right-wing activists on one side and police forces on the opposite side, last Wednesday, as around 9000 people gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate. As demonstrators violated hygiene requirements, law enforcement units dissolved the rally with water cannons.

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