On August 30, 2020, thousands of right-wing nationalists and COVID-19 deniers gathered in Berlin, Germany to protest coronavirus restrictions. The protest was originally banned, but it was eventually given the green light by the Berlin Administrative Court.
Around 38,000 were in attendance at the peaceful protest, clamoring for an end to the “COVID hoax.” Berlin police arrived to shut down the protest due to failure to comply with social distancing pre-cautions, arresting 300.
Later, several hundred protesters, including many from the far-right, attempted to storm the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building. Some protesters openly displayed Nazi symbols, Imperial German flags, and insignia from the far-right Reichsbürger.
The protesters almost succeeded in entering the building as they threw stones and bottles at police. They were stopped only by the authorities’ pepper spray and arrests.
Effects of German Nationalists
However, these protests are worrying to many POC and to those who are not ethnically German. The fact that thousands of far-right extremists openly displayed fascist symbols without fear may be a worrying indication that nationalists are growing increasingly bold. Additionally, the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus (i.e. claims that COVID-19 is a hoax) may threaten public safety and health.