German demonstrators protest coronavirus restrictions, fail to form human chain around lake
Police said that two different protests gathered in Konstanz – some to criticize and some to support government measures, Reuters reported.
The number of protesters was estimated at about 11,000, with the situation described as “calm.”
The counter-protesters attempted to form a human chain around Lake Constance, but failed to draw enough people, Sky News reported.
Germany has performed relatively well compared to other nations, with a lower infection and death rate for most of the pandemic.
However, case numbers are rising again and authorities are considering further restrictions, which have upset sections of the population.
Local authorities have imposed measures such as social distancing to combat the coronavirus spread, but they have also banned the use of Germany’s imperial Reichsflagge – a symbol used by neo-Nazis and other far-right groups.
The protesters gathered for a mix of causes, such as civil rights and anti-vaxxers, with members of far-right groups in attendance, Sky News reported.
Marches have taken place in Germany over the past month for similar causes, most notably in Berlin in late August.
Police forcibly removed protesters that stormed the parliament building, some of them carrying the Reichsflagge.
“Reich flags and right-wing extremist provocations in front of the German Bundestag are an unbearable attack on the heart of our democracy,” Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said of the incident. “We will never accept this.”
Robert Habeck, the co-leader of Germany’s Green party, called for a thorough investigation into the incident.
“The fact that Nazis with imperial war flags try to storm the Bundestag recalls the darkest period in German history,” he told the Funke media group.
Fox News’ Robert Gearty contributed to this report.