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Frankfurt police use water cannon at anti-lockdown rally

November 14, 2020

As marchers gathered in Frankfurt to protest coronavirus restrictions, a rival group tried to block their route. Police fired a water cannon to clear the way, with the authorities saying officers were attacked.

Police using water cannons in Frankfurt
Image: Boris Roessler/dpa/picture alliance

Frankfurt police deployed water cannons on counterprotesters who were trying to block a march against coronavirus restrictions on Saturday.

Around 600 supporters of the so-called Querdenker (lateral thinker) movement rallied through the German city on Saturday. But about 300 counterprotesters holding banners with Antifa symbols and reading "bring down the right" tried to block their path in the city center.

Police used water cannons to free up the route for the rally after officers were attacked. The security forces also used batons on the counterprotesters.

Police clash with counterprotesters
Frankfurt police used water cannons and batons to clear a path for a rally against coronavirus restrictionsImage: Boris Roessler/dpa/picture alliance

The main rally was later broken up because the Querdenker protesters were not adhering to rules on wearing masks and keeping a safe distance.

Germany has seen widespread demonstrations against government measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak. A violent protest in Leipzig has prompted calls for more assertive policing. Smaller marches also took place Saturday in the cities of Karlsruhe, Regensburg and Erfurt.

The country, which has recorded more than 785,000 cases and nearly 12,500 deaths, has logged at least 20,000 new cases in each of the last four days.

The loosely organized Querdenker movement has gained traction in recent months, arguing that government restrictions infringe on citizens' rights.

dv/dj (dpa, Reuters)