Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Lockdown protests break out in Europe

Clashes, arrests across Europe as anti-lockdown protests flare | CBC - Associated Press:
May 16, 2020 - "Demonstrations took place Saturday in several European cities against restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus, with tear gas used on protesters in Poland and arrests made at a gathering in London's Hyde Park. Police in several German cities enforced distancing rules as thousands of people gathered to express a mix of frustrations — at restrictions battering the economy and a perceived loss of civic freedom.....

"Police in Stuttgart said that the permitted number of 5,000 demonstrators was exceeded.... Police said they were enforcing a mask requirement under threat of a 300 euro ($458 Cdn) fine. The permitted number of 1,000 protesters was reached in Munich ... one of a number of gatherings across the southern state of Bavaria. Several dozen people protested anti-virus rules to loud music in Berlin in a taped-off demonstration area on the central Alexanderplatz square, overseen by 1,000 police....

"Dozens of people, including a senator, were detained during a protest by business owners in the Polish capital against coronavirus restrictions, while police used tear gas against protesters. The city of Warsaw said the gathering was illegal because it had not been previously approved.... Warsaw police said they faced cases of 'aggression against police officers.'
Read more; https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/anti-lockdown-protests-europe-arrests-1.5573326

Coronavirus: Anti-lockdown car protest draws thousands | BBC World News: 
May 23. 2020 - "The far-right Vox party urged supporters to drive through major cities without leaving their vehicles in order to maintain social distancing. Protesters in the capital, Madrid, drove in convoy and waved Spanish flags as they called for socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to resign.

"Spain imposed some of the tightest restrictions in Europe on 14 March. It has eased restrictions in recent weeks, but Madrid and Barcelona have remained under tight lockdown due to their more severe outbreaks of Covid-19. The country's two-month lockdown has seen hotels, bars and restaurants all close as well as beaches and other outdoor attractions. The government says this has allowed it to get the outbreak under control, and the daily death toll has been gradually declining.

"But, on Saturday, far-right protesters called for the lockdown to be lifted entirely owing to its impact on jobs and the economy. Almost one million jobs were lost in March alone, and forecasts suggest the Spanish economy will contract by up to 12% this year as a result of the pandemic.... The party's leader, Santiago Abascal, led the protest from an open-topped bus in Madrid. He wore a face mask and accused the government of being 'directly responsible for the worst management of this crisis on the entire planet'.... Similar protests also took place in Seville, Barcelona and other regional capitals where rows of cars and motorbikes decked in Spanish flags honked their horns. Others followed the convoys on foot and held placards. While countries such as the UK, US and Brazil have also seen anti-lockdown protests, they have rarely seen social distancing measures respected."
Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52783936

Protesters take to the streets of Berlin over government's lockdown response | Euro News - Jona Kellgren & Craig Crowther
May 25, 2020 - "Berlin saw new protests against the country's coronavirus lockdown over the weekend. As well as protests in the capital, crowds also gathered in Munich and Stuttgart to demonstrate the German government's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. They claim that restrictions on civil liberties during the lockdown, which has been notably less strict in Germany than elsewhere in Europe, are undemocratic....

"In some cases, demonstrations have been started by left-wing groups or anti-vaccine campaigners, but what unites them is a lack of trust in the authorities, experts say.... The demonstrations have spread across Germany and have also started to appear in other European countries. In some cases, right-wing groups have tried to capitalize on the protests.

"In the United Kingdom, 19 people were arrested for breaking social distancing rules while attending an anti-lockdown rally at the weekend. Meanwhile, police in the Polish capital Warsaw used tear gas on protesters who were demanding the government allow businesses to reopen."
Read more: https://www.euronews.com/2020/05/25/protesters-take-to-the-streets-of-berlin-over-government-s-lockdown-response

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