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Thousands Take to Berlin's Streets to Protest Pandemic Mandates

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Thousands protested Germany’s coronavirus restrictions on Saturday in a Berlin demonstration.

With few masks in sight, a dense crowd marched through downtown Berlin.

Protesters who came from across the country held up homemade signs with slogans like “Corona, false alarm” and “We are being forced to wear a muzzle.”

They chanted, “We’re here and we’re loud, because we are being robbed of our freedom!”

Police used bullhorns to try to enforce social distancing rules, apparently with little success.

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They tweeted that they drew up a criminal complaint against the rally’s organizer for failing to enforce hygiene rules, then said shortly afterward that the organizer had ended the march.

Police estimated that about 17,000 people turned out.

The demonstrators were kept apart from counterprotesters.

Germany has seen just over 9,150 COVID-19 deaths out of more than 210,670 confirmed cases.

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The German government has been easing lockdown measures since late April, but social distancing mandates remain in place, as does a requirement to wear masks on public transit and in shops.

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