Saturday 20th March 2021
Corona demos not only in Kassel
Dutch people drive away protesters in buses
In Kassel, the “lateral thinking” movement can mobilize tens of thousands, but it is not only in this country that people are defending themselves against Corona measures: In Amsterdam, demonstrators are even driven to the outskirts and even in Sweden there are reasons for protest.
While one of the largest rallies of the year is taking place in Kassel with more than 20,000 “lateral thinkers” counted by the police, protests are being made in other European countries against measures to contain the corona pandemic. In Amsterdam For example, the police drove participants in an unauthorized protest rally with water cannons from the central square in front of the Reichsmuseum. As the Dutch news agency ANP reported, around 1000 demonstrators were surrounded by emergency services on the edge of the historic canal district, many of them were then taken by bus to areas on the outskirts. Protective masks had previously been distributed to them. There was initially no information about arrests.
In the past few weeks there have been repeated protests against corona measures in the Netherlands, some of which have led to violent attacks. There, too, the number of new infections every day has risen again – from Friday morning to Saturday morning alone, 7,668 new corona cases were registered, the health authority said. This is the highest number of new infections within a day since the beginning of January.
Also in the Switzerland Thousands of people took to the streets against the government’s corona restrictions. According to estimates by local journalists, between 3,000 and 5,000 demonstrators, most of them without protective masks, took part in the rally in the small town of Liestal in the canton of Baselland.
Participants displayed signs like “Vaccines kill” or “Let love guide you, not fear”. The alliance had called for a “silent protest”. The Swiss government canceled a relaxation of the corona protective measures expected for next week on Friday. Health Minister Alain Berset justified the decision with the risk of a third corona wave.
“Tyranny” of the masks
Even known for its particularly lax corona policy Sweden several demonstrations were broken up by the police. Protests against the corona measures were stopped by officials in the capital Stockholm as well as in Gothenburg and Malmö because they violated the maximum number of participants for public gatherings. The police departments of the three largest cities in Sweden announced this in the afternoon. In Gothenburg 50 to 70 people were there, in Malmö around 200. In Stockholm the newspaper “Aftonbladet” spoke from 200 to 300 participants. Two weeks ago, around 600 people demonstrated in Stockholm against the applicable corona measures.
In the Corona crisis, Sweden took a special route that was widely recognized internationally with relatively loose restrictions on public life and appeals to the common sense of the citizens. However, there were and still are isolated corona measures with the Swedes, albeit not as strict as in Germany or elsewhere. Among other things, since the end of November only a maximum of eight people have been allowed to gather for public meetings and events. In addition, with a pandemic law passed in January, the government created the possibility of stricter measures against the spread of the coronavirus.
In Croatia Thousands protested, among other things, against the mask requirement, which was perceived as “tyranny”. In the capital Zagreb as well as in Osijek and in the Adriatic cities of Split, Dubrovnik and Sibenik, people took to the streets and the majority did not wear mouth and nose protection.
Right-wing extremists join in the demonstration
In Croatia, it is compulsory to wear a mask in public transport, shops and hospitals as well as outdoors wherever the minimum distance of one and a half meters cannot be maintained. Indoor catering is closed, but allowed outdoors. The incidence of new infections with the Sars-CoV-2 virus has recently increased again in Croatia after a significant decline in January and February. On Saturday it was 145.1 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within 7 days.
Also in Romanias capital Bucharest and five other cities, thousands of people took to the streets without mouth and nose protection. In Bucharest and in Cluj (Kolozsvar / Klausenburg) in Transylvania, prominent members of the new extreme right-wing parliamentary party AUR were among the participants in the rallies. Religious symbols were also often visible. Many Orthodox Christian believers are dissatisfied with the restrictions on services.
Demonstrations were also held in Brasov (Kronstadt) in Transylvania, in the cities of Constanta and Galati and in Timsoara (Timisoara) in western Romania, which is one of the largest sources of infection in the country. The police announced that they would be fined against those demonstrators who violated the mask requirement and the rules of distance.