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Against masks and lockdowns: Wave of anti-coronavirus protests swept the world

Author : 112.ua News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Some politicians have already called the protesters "covidiots" and called for increased responsibility for quarantine violations
22:32, 5 August 2020

Open source

Over the weekend in Berlin, about 20 thousand people violated quarantine: they took off their masks and marched against government measures. A similar thing happened in several cities in the Netherlands, and in Serbia a couple of weeks ago demonstrators pelted the police with stones during a rally against the curfew.

Some politicians have already called the protesters "covidiots" and urged for increased responsibility for violating quarantine. Who is protesting against precautionary measures and lockdown and could it happen in Ukraine?

Germany

In Berlin, the anti-coronavirus protest was the most massive. According to police estimates, the total number of participants was about 20 thousand. The crowd was without masks and did not observe social distance.

The protesters included extreme right-wing groups with flags and symbols and a group of conspiracy theorists who do not believe the virus exists. Among them were those who were not satisfied with the measures taken by the government. All these people demanded an end to measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

People in the procession were holding placards with the words "We are making noise, because you are stealing our freedom!" and "Think! Don't wear a mask!"

According to the protesters, measures against Covid-19 violate the rights and freedoms of citizens. “Our demand is to return to democracy,” one protester told Reuters.

The police took several organizers off the stage, citing the fact that quarantine rules were not followed at the rally. Clashes occurred during attempts to disperse the protesters.

According to the police, 45 law enforcement officers were injured in the clashes. 133 protesters were detained, 89 of them are under criminal investigation, the rest are charged with administrative offenses.

The protesters were criticized by local politicians, one of whom called the dissidents "covidiots."

In Germany, lockdown have been relaxed since late April, but social distancing rules remain, as does the requirement to wear masks in public transport and in shops.

The number of coronavirus cases has increased over the past few weeks, so officials warn against the dangers of abandoning quarantine measures.

Netherlands

Demonstrations were also held in three cities in the Netherlands over the weekend, but not as massive - several hundred people took part in them. The actions took place in Amsterdam, Groningen and Enschede.

The most numerous was the action in Groningen - about 200 protesters gathered there.

The people brought posters with slogans "For freedom! Against emergency measures!", "The government did not care about our freedoms", "This should not become the new norm", as well as slogans against 5G technology.

Quarantine began to weaken in the country in early July - there are no restrictions on the number of attendance at funerals and weddings, if everyone can maintain a distance of 1.5 meters. Saunas, casinos, gyms are open. Contact sports such as football are available again.

Serbia

Serbia protested massively in early July against the imposition of a curfew. The security forces dispersed the protesters with armored vehicles.

The rallies began on July 7 in Belgrade after President Aleksandar Vucic announced that the government was imposing a curfew due to the coronavirus pandemic. Peaceful mass protests against the government's anti-crisis policies soon escalated into street riots. Protest actions were also held in other cities - Novi Sad, Nis, Kragujevac. The demonstrators demanded Vucic's resignation.

The police used brutal force, tear gas, attacks and arrests, beatings. For now, the protests have died down.

Situation in Ukraine

There have not yet been massive protests against quarantine measures in Ukrainian cities. However, mayors of cities began to oppose the restrictions of the Cabinet.

On August 1, new quarantine rules began to operate, according to which, the country's regions are divided into zones which are levels of epidemiological danger - green, yellow, orange and red. Lutsk, Ternopil and Kitsmansky district of Chernivtsi region got into the red zone.

According to the rules, the work of transport, shopping and entertainment centers, cafes, restaurants and visiting educational institutions is forbidden there.

In Lutsk, local authorities do not agree with this decision and refused to stop public transport. The City Council at the session considered this issue and decided not to stop the life of Lutsk, reports Volyn Post.

Related: Covid-19 claims 700,000 lives worldwide

The reason for the refusal is possible losses of jobs. According to the mayor's advisor Igor Polishchuk, if the rules of the "red" zone are observed, thousands of city residents will find themselves in a catastrophic situation.

Anatoly Svirsky, deputy head of the Department for Emergency Situations and Civil Protection, said that enough quarantine measures have been taken in Lutsk, which are effective, so there is no need to introduce additional measures that can lead to a halt in the city's economy.

However, there are still some quarantine restrictions: the timetable for city trains has changed, and not all public transport has started working on Monday either. Drivers admit that law enforcement officers threaten with fines for breaking the rules.

Ternopil is also against the introduction of quarantine. The city council at an extraordinary session on August 3 expressed its strong disagreement with the classification of the city as a red quarantine zone.

On the eve of the mayor of Ternopil, Serhiy Nadal, on his Facebook page posted a video message in which he expressed his indignation at the referring of the city to the red zone and demanded that Ukrzaliznytsia resume railway communication with the city. In a message, he asks the Minister of Transport: "Who gave you the right to decide for Ternopil?"

The mayor of the city noted that the state did not financially help the city during the entire quarantine period, so why now it is bringing it into the red zone?

Related: 150 new Covid-19 cases registered in Kyiv

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