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1000’s March Towards COVID Restrictions in Northwest Europe | World Information

(Reuters) – Tens of 1000’s of protesters marched via a number of northwest European cities on Saturday to exhibit in opposition to coronavirus restrictions imposed amid a surge in infections.

Austria final month turned the primary nation in Western Europe to reimpose a lockdown, which is about to final 20 days, and mentioned it might make vaccinations obligatory from February.

Among the greater than 40,000 demonstrators in Vienna carried indicators studying: “I’ll resolve for myself”, “Make Austria Nice Once more” and “New Elections” – a nod to the political turmoil that has seen three chancellors inside two months.

Round 1,200 cops deployed for the march on the central Ring boulevard, and a 1,500-strong counter-protest, each allowed underneath the phrases of Austria’s lockdown.

Within the central Dutch city of Utrecht, a number of thousand demonstrated in opposition to restrictions that started final weekend.

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Protesters carried banners studying “Medical Freedom Now!”, with a big police contingent current.

It was the primary main demonstration within the Netherlands in opposition to the measures, which embody a nighttime closure of bars, eating places and most shops to stem a wave of COVID-19 instances that’s threatening to overwhelm the healthcare system.

Two weeks in the past, there have been violent protests after the Dutch authorities introduced plans to ban most unvaccinated folks from bars, eating places and different public locations.

“We’re in opposition to having no freedom (to resolve what occurs to) our personal physique,” Utrecht demonstrator Marit van Hunen mentioned.

The plans face sturdy opposition in parliament and haven’t been enacted but.

Within the German monetary capital, Frankfurt, police broke up an indication of a number of hundred folks for failing to put on masks or keep social distancing, utilizing batons and pepper spray after they had been attacked by a bunch of protesters.

And in Berlin, the place a brand new authorities is about to take workplace inside days, small teams gathered to protest after a big demonstration was banned.

German politicians broadly condemned a protest by opponents of coronavirus restrictions that befell late on Friday exterior the house of Petra Koepping, well being minister within the jap state of Saxony, which at present has Germany’s highest an infection charge. Some mentioned it smacked of Nazi-era intimidation.

(Reporting by Eva Plevier and Hilde Verweij within the Netherlands, Francois Murphy and Lisi Niesner in Vienna, Emma Thomasson in Berlin; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Modifying by Frances Kerry)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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