"Corona sceptics" demo: the weekend in photos

Protesters critical of the corona rules marched through central Berlin Saturday and Sunday : far-right groups, anti-vaxxers, Putin fans and more.

Protestors carry a "Reichsflagge" with Trump's mug on it at the Brandenburg Gate. WTF?
Protestors carry a "Reichsflagge" with Trump's mug on it at the Brandenburg Gate. WTF?

Berlin-"Corona sceptics" marched through central Berlin on Saturday. Police estimated about 38,000 people attended the demonstration. About 300 were arrested.

Noon: Thousands start to gather in Mitte. Hundreds took part in a "sitting protest" near Friedrichstraße station.

The 32-year-old woman in the tank top told our reporter that wearing a mask was "more dangerous for her kids than the virus itself."

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1pm: Cops direct the flow of the march on the corner of Torstraße and Friedrichstraße.

Photo:Kopietz

1.07pm: Using loudspeakers, police tell protesters the demo has to end because nobody's sticking to social distancing rules.

3.35pm: Putin supporters chant outside of the Russian embassy. Police use pepper stray to try to break up the crowd. Members of far-right groups spotted here.

Photo: Kopietz
Photo: Kopietz

3.39pm: Michael Ballweg, one of the demo's organisers, speaks on stage near the Siegessäule. JFK's nephew Robert Francis Kennedy spoke about the alleged dangers of the 5G network and the surveillance ambitions of Bill Gates, while referring to his uncle's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.

Michael Ballweg
Michael Ballweg

Pretty weird to see this guy marching with dudes carrying Prussian flags.

Flower power versus coronavirus
Flower power versus coronavirus

6.03pm: Celebrity vegan chef and conspiracy theorist Attila Hildmann gets arrested 

6.40pm: A Berlin court says Michael Ballweg's two-week "corona protest camp" can take place on Straße des 17. Junis starting 30 August.

People gather at Siegessäule to listen to speeches.
People gather at Siegessäule to listen to speeches.Photo: AP/Michael Sohn

Saturday evening, protestors broke through police barricades and rushed up the steps of the Reichstag. Cops used pepper spray to force people away. Notice the unsual mixture of flags present: Reich flags, peace flags, Germany flags, USA flags. Demo organiser Michael Ballweg distanced himself from the groups attempting to storm the German parliament building.

Around sundown, riot police take back control of the Reichtag steps. The police's security concept for the building has been the subject of harsh criticism.

Sunday: As hundreds blocked the streets around the Siegesäule once more, police were less patient.