At least 60 people were arrested on Saturday, May 23, as police dispersed demonstrations by various groups in Berlin held in violation of Germany's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) social distancing rules. Protests by far-right and left-wing groups were held in various areas of the city throughout Saturday, with several hundred people attending the main rallies near the Bundestag, the Chancellery building, the Volksbühne, and the Brandenburg Gate. Most of the arrests came as police attempted to break up a rally by far-right groups at the Großer Stern, with two police officers receiving minor injuries in scuffles with the protesters. Police also broke up a gathering of around 250 people protesting COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing measures in Unter Den Linden, although the demonstrators dispersed peacefully. Fewer people are reported to have attended Saturday's demonstrations than similar gatherings on Saturday, May 16, and Saturday, May 9.
Further demonstrations and associated disruptions are likely in Berlin and other major cities over the near term.
Berlin and other major German cities have seen several weeks of demonstrations organized by various groups against COVID-19-related restrictions, the largest of which have drawn several thousand attendees. Although these protests have generally passed peacefully, several have seen isolated clashes between demonstrators and police.
Although authorities in Germany began easing some COVID-19 restrictions from April 30, many measures remain in place, including social distancing and the continued closure of many non-essential businesses.
Individuals in Berlin are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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