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Berlin: Police Chase Conspiracy Theorists through City Center

Police officers chased Corona deniers through the streets of Berlin on Saturday. Their task was to make sure a banned protest would not take place, but they were only partially successful.

Berlin, May 22nd, 2021, Update: 8:13 p.m. CEDT (The Berlin Spectator) — In the center of Berlin, dozens of police vans that carried nine officers each arrived at Brandenburg Gate in the morning. They spread out all over the place, with specific orders. Two protests that were registered by Corona deniers, but forbidden by the Berlin authorities, were not supposed to take place. At that point, only about 50 conspiracy theorists had arrived, but the square on the western side of the Gate filled up quickly.

The police were very busy today. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Crowd Ignores Orders

A bit further down the street, in the government quarter, countless police officers protected the Chancellery and the Reichstag which accommodates the Berlin Bundestag. No potential protesters were supposed to come even close, because the Interior Ministry and the city state of Berlin’s Senate Administration of the Interior know very well what Corona deniers are capable of. In August of 2020, they broke through a barrier and got close to the Reichstag’s entrance.

Hundreds of Corona deniers tried to stage a forbidden protest. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Back around the corner, at Brandenburg Gate, the situation became more difficult by the minute. As more and more conspiracy theorists tried to stage their banned protest, the police cleared the area. First they ordered everyone to leave. Then they started pushing those away who did not feel like obeying their orders. Minutes later, the crowd was actually protesting across the street, at one of the entrances to ‘Tiergarten’ park.

The communication team the police sent could not do much, because of the protesters’ stubbornness. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

No Masks, No Distance

They had put up figures with black and white photos of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Health Minister Jens Spahn and other leading politicians with a sign that said they should be put on a hazardous waste dump. “Peace and no dictatorship” and “Stop the Corona dictatorship!” were two of their favorite slogans they kept on chanting. None of the protesters wore masks, none of them cared about distancing.

The Reichstag and government quarter were well protected. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

After watching the events unfold for a little while, the police took action. Twice, they ordered the Corona deniers to put on masks and keep 1.5 meters (5 feet) of distance. Since they did not react, officers in riot gear ended the protest. Through big loudspeakers, the participants were told to move towards ‘Potsdamer Platz’ square in small groups. This order was ignored in part. They did move, but in one large group. In the meantime, dozens of police officers were already preparing for more trouble at ‘Potsdamer Platz’.

At ‘Potsdamer Platz’, the police prepared for trouble. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Arrest at the Mall

But suddenly, the crowd moved towards Mall of Berlin. Police officers ran after them. Some individuals made it to the mall’s entrance with a megaphone. The man who used it to spread weird theories about the Coronavirus was finally caught by police and taken to a tent they had set up with the purpose of registering arrested persons there and write down their data. They had to use force against some aggressive protesters who were arrested. Earlier this week, two courts had ruled that the Berlin authorities were within their rights when they banned two protests Corona deniers had registered.

Brandenburg Gate was off limits to Corona deniers on Saturday. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

The Berlin Police Department was enforced by the Federal Police and colleagues from Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg, Schleswig-Holstein and Saxony. On Saturday evening, a new protest organized by supporters of the terror organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad was going to be staged, but it was forbidden as well. Another pro-terror protest organized by the group ‘Palästina spricht’ actually took place in Berlin’s Kreuzberg borough in the afternoon.

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