Over a thousand anti-vaccine passport protestors clash with police in Germany

On Saturday, protestors and police clashed in the Saxony, Germany city of Leipzig, where a rally against an upcoming Saxony vaccine passport was held.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Saturday, protestors and police clashed in the Saxony, Germany city of Leipzig, where a rally against an upcoming Saxony vaccine passport was held.

At least 3,000 people were registered to attend the Leipzig Movement's march across the Leipzig Ring, according to DW. Due to tightened COVID-19 restrictions though, only 1,000 were legally allowed to attend.

Despite this DW stated that more than 1,000 people showed up for the event. 24 people were arrested for carrying prohibited objects.

The protest began peacefully, but grew tense throughout the event, with protestors shouting at police.

At Grimmaische Straße, protestors and police began shoving into one another, with police spraying the crowd with pepper spray.

The rally was held in protest of Saxony's 2G tile, which will come into effect on Monday. Saxony will be the first German state to implement this rule.

The 2G rule in Germany means people must show proof of full vaccination or proof of recovering from the virus to enter indoor dining and other indoor events.

Saxony has the lowest vaccination rate in Germany, with just 57 percent of its resident fully vaccinated, compared with the national average of 67 percent. The German state also has the highest infection rate in the country, with 415.8 new infections per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

Ahead of Saturday's protest, head of the domestic intelligence agency in the eastern state of Thuringia Stephan Kramer said that radicalization amongst "coronavirus deniers" was increasing.

"The fourth wave, the discussion about booster vaccinations and tightening of coronavirus measures such as the extension of proof of vaccination or recovery regulations can lead to a new impetus for the scene," Kramer told DW.

"We are experiencing online bullying, insults, physical attacks and ultra-aggressive behavior all over the country," he added.

"The fourth wave of the pandemic as well as communication deficits and contradictions in politics, for example regarding booster vaccination are prompting the scene to feel validated and further fueled," Kramer said.


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