On Saturday, June 6, police in Hamburg deployed water cannon and pepper spray to disperse a protest in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The protest took place in and around Bergstrasse, near the city's town hall. Police declared the protest an illegal assembly due to restrictions on large gatherings in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and took action after hundreds of "hooded and aggressive" people allegedly put pressure on police. One police officer was reportedly injured.
Further protests in Hamburg and throughout Germany in support of the BLM movement are likely in the near term, and a heightened security presence is to be expected at protest sites.
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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