Over the weekend, there were again demonstrations against racism and police brutality in 25 cities, with 15,000 coming to Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, 14,000 in Hamburg, and 20,000 in Düsseldorf. The largest gathering took place in Munich with 25,000 in Marienplatz.
Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) expressed concern about the large gatherings. “The fight against racism needs our joint commitment,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that “crowds of people in the middle of a pandemic worry me.”
While the overwhelming majority of demonstrations were peaceful, authorities made 93 arrests in Berlin. Tensions between police and protestors escalated after a man was arrested for damaging an emergency vehicle. On social media, videos of the arrests fuelled further debates on police violence.
While the police have claimed that all remaining protestors had been told to leave the area, “those who did not leave were caught up in the police response,” a police spokesperson has said.
State politicians from the Left (Die Linke), however, have condemned the police response, calling it “disproportionate”.
Katina Schubert (Die Linke) tweeted: “Is the Berlin police out of their minds? There is no justification for this. Haven’t they realised why millions of people are taking to the streets worldwide?” (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)