Protesters across Europe clash with police over the COVID-19 lockdowns: NPR


People without masks come to protest government restrictions to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in London on Saturday.

Alberto Pezzale / AP

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Alberto Pezzale / AP

People without masks come to protest government restrictions to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in London on Saturday.

Alberto Pezzale / AP

Anger over restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic spread to the streets of Europe on Saturday.

German police used water cannons, pepper spray and batons on protesters who gathered due to the coronavirus lockdown in the town of Kassel. In the middle of Germany The number of demonstrators reached about 20 thousand. Protests against government measures to curb the epidemic have also been reported in Austria, Britain, Finland, Romania and Switzerland.

Germany is facing a wave of COVID-19 infections as a more contagious type of virus spreads. Experts say it highlights the need to speed up vaccinations.

But a failed vaccine rollout appears to have deepened mistrust of the German government. The suspension of AstraZeneca’s vaccine was the latest hurdle in Germany’s efforts to vaccinate its population of 83 million.

After a three-day hiatus in using AstraZeneca, Germany is now trying to correct the course.

And her slogan is “vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate”, the German chancellor Angela Merkel said After meeting with the leaders of the sixteen states of the country.

“At the start of the epidemic, Germany was a global model for how to manage it,” NPR’s Rob Schmidt stated. But a year later, the opposite appears. Only 8.5% of Germans got the first shot, As of Friday, away from other countries including the US and UK

Britain’s rapid rollout of a vaccine – the first in the world to introduce a fully tested vaccine – was a surprising success for Boris Johnson’s government, which has come under fire for its response to the virus.

But it did not prevent thousands of people from participating in anti-lockdown demonstrations in London on Saturday. The protesters carried banners Her text was, “Fear of Westminster, not the virus, and” Stop ruining our children’s lives “as they walked through central London – along Oxford Street, Embankment and Parliament Square before heading to Whitehall.

In Hyde Park, it was the police Forced to return to their trucks While the demonstrators threw bottles and cans at them. BBC reported Few of the protesters appeared to be wearing masks. London Metropolitan Police She said 36 people were arrested During the rallies, most of them involved violations of COVID-19 regulations.

The protests came on the same day that 60 members of parliament urged the interior minister to ease restrictions on demonstrations. Due to coronavirus restrictions, it is currently illegal for groups to gather for the purpose of protest. But the measures came under direct attack this week.

Protests over the lockdowns have combined with a wave of outrage over the kidnapping and death of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman who went missing earlier this month while returning home. Her body was found a week later, and an on-duty police officer was charged with her murder. Police are under scrutiny for their alleged harsh tactics in breaking up the open-air protest that was attended by large numbers of people at Everard last Saturday that sparked three nights of protests.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Interior To Reuters, “While we are still in a pandemic, we continue to urge people to avoid mass gatherings, in line with broader coronavirus restrictions.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be planning to introduce A. Controversial new law Banning protests that are loud or cause “serious discomfort” and can carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

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