Updated Aug 30, 2020 - World

Berlin police break up protests against coronavirus restrictions

A protester confronting a police officer in Berlin on Aug. 28.

A protester confronting a police officer in Berlin on Aug. 28. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Berlin police arrested 300 demonstrators after disbanding a protest Saturday over Germany's coronavirus restrictions as tens of thousands of participants refused to maintain social distancing, per the BBC.

Why it matters: Berlin's regional government tried to ban the protest earlier this week, citing concern for public health. Protesters successfully appealed the decision on Friday, though a court required demonstrators to observe social distancing.

The big picture: Demonstrators at a protest near Brandenburg Gate opposed vaccinations, face masks mandates and the German government in general during the protest by waving U.S., Russian or German Reich flags, AP reports.

  • Others wore T-shirts promoting the American “QAnon” conspiracy theory, white nationalist slogans and neo-Nazi insignia, according to AP.
  • Authorities said "right-wing agitators" hurled rocks and bottles at one rally in Berlin, where police arrested 200 people, per the BBC.

By the numbers: Germany reported an increase in new coronavirus cases in recent weeks after seeing fewer cases over June and July, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

  • The country reported around 1,500 new cases on Friday and five deaths on Thursday. In total, the country has had 242,415 cases and 9,299 deaths throughout the pandemic.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the number of those arrested at the protest.

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