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Thousands protest in Berlin against coronavirus restrictions

Few masks in sight among thousands in downtown Berlin.
Posted at 9:31 AM, Aug 01, 2020

BERLIN (AP) — Thousands of protesters against German coronavirus restrictions converged Saturday in Berlin for a demonstration proclaiming “the end of the pandemic” has arrived, as authorities voice increasing concern about an upturn in new infections.

A whistling and cheering crowd marched through downtown Berlin from the Brandenburg Gate with few masks in sight on Saturday.

Protesters held up home-made placards featuring slogans that included “Corona, false alarm,” “We are being forced to wear a muzzle,” and “Natural defense instead of vaccination.”

German officials pleaded with the public this week to observe social distancing and mask-wearing rules.

The national disease control center reported 955 new cases Friday, a high number by recent standards that underlined the upward trend.