The second action was also distinguished by the fact that the protesters at the Reichstag building began to throw stones and bottles at the police. The police responded with tear gas. About 300 people were detained. The first action of opponents of the restrictive measures that were introduced in connection with the pandemic in the country was quite peaceful.
It was a "day of freedom" that marked the "end of the pandemic." This is what the organizers of the action on August 1 said. But the media described its participants as a collection of "conspiracy theorists" and neo-Nazis.
The number is also not entirely clear. While the official press writes about 17 thousand participants, the organizers insist on much more significant figures - up to 1.3 million. The discrepancy is significant. It would seem, why underestimate these numbers? In my opinion, the question is whether to take into account the part of the FRG population that is critical of government measures aimed at combating the pandemic.
Most of the demonstrators who came to Berlin from all over Germany and took to the streets are not far-right, as journalists try to portray, but people of very different political orientations. They have one thing in common: disagreement with how exactly over the past few months the state has been “protecting” risk groups by manipulating numbers and undermining the existence of everyone else. Destroying the business of small enterprises, depriving the representatives of a number of professions from work, leaving the elderly in isolation in homes for the elderly, turning the life of families with school-age children upside down - the list of problems of society in a pandemic is huge. Many believe that all these sacrifices are justified by a good cause. This is precisely what the media are trying to convince us of, threatening the "second wave".
The protesters gathered in Berlin because they have many questions that we have not yet received an answer to. On that hot Saturday afternoon, a small group of protesters found themselves in the very epicenter of the event. Since because of the child who was with them, they stopped many times in the shade at the edge of the road, and the flow of people with posters, banners, flags, in T-shirts with inscriptions on freedom, without masks (except for all sorts of comical masks) did not stop, protesters were lot! And after the split in society, even among close acquaintances, some of whom still pedantically observe the "social distance", after the new rules of communication at work, it was a great relief to be here.
The protesters felt themselves among their own people, periodically exchanging greetings with people from different cities, from different federal states, felt euphoria from the possibility of change. The demonstration remained peaceful until the end. When later, on June 17 Street, the police interrupt the speech of one of the activists and mute the sound in the microphones, for several minutes we will still watch the broadcast from the podium on the big screen: negotiations with the police and the organizers' silent call for peace. People on the screen fold their hearts with their fingers and the same gesture is repeated by thousands of people around us. And then, when the policeman announces the dissolution of the meeting, the protesters will sit on the ground and chant: "Wir bleiben hier!" (German. We stay here). It would be untrue to say that people were not outraged by what happened. But no violence, no calls for violence, which is undoubtedly the merit of the organizers. People stayed on 17 June Street until late at night. Some of them went to the Reichstag, then to the department of the Federal Chancellor, many returned.
The consequences were not long in coming: the society is very wary of the democratic protest movement. Many of the returnees had problems at work (they were trying to force them to serve two weeks in quarantine!), And the famous basketball player Joshiko Saibu became even more famous after the demonstration - he was fired from the club. One of the fellow travelers says that friends have canceled the invitation to the grill - they are afraid of getting infected, although he has no symptoms of the disease. Honestly, you wonder whether to tell your friends about your trip to Berlin and whether to post photos on social networks.