Thousands of Covid deniers clash with German police at rally in Leipzig with tear gas jets

Shocking footage has emerged of German police spraying tear gas into the faces of protesters after they staged a rally against Covid passports.

The mess erupted after 1,000 people started marching in the eastern city of Leipzig, Saxony yesterday with 24 arrests reportedly made.

From Monday, Saxony will be the first federal state in the country to implement the “2G” rule, which has angered activists against the new restrictions.

In Germany, the 2G rule means people must be fully vaccinated against Covid, or be able to prove that they have recovered from it, in order to visit pubs, restaurants and other indoor events.

More than 3,000 protesters against the new rule had initially pledged to participate in the rally in the city – the largest in Saxony – before authorities set a ceiling at 1,000.

But by morning, that number had already been reached and the police were struggling to control the crowds in the city center.

Video shows the protest – which had been peaceful to a point – gradually growing tense with angry cries from the crowd.

Clashes took place between police and protesters after thousands of Covid skeptics staged a rally in Leipzig

Police struggled to maintain order in town despite cap on protesters set at 1,000

Police struggled to maintain order in town despite cap on protesters set at 1,000

Suddenly the scene on Grimmaische Straße descends into chaos – with several pushes and pushes before the police and protesters start to jostle each other.

Protesters can be heard screaming as police begin to spray tear gas into the crowd.

A man is pushed by an officer as he staggers, disoriented by the spray.

Elsewhere, a woman on a bicycle screams in pain after being caught in the midst of several volleys of spray.

Police said those arrested were carrying prohibited items, according to German news site DW.

Saxony currently has the highest Covid rate in Germany with 415.8 new infections per 100,000, as well as the lowest vaccination rate with just 57% of people fully vaccinated, compared to 66% nationally, according to the ‘Robert Koch Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Stephan Kramer, head of the internal intelligence agency for the eastern Thuringian state, has warned of the growing radicalization of anti-Covid activists.

“The fourth wave, the discussion of booster vaccinations and the tightening of coronavirus measures such as extending proof of vaccination or recovery regulations may give the scene new impetus,” Kramer said. to the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland press group.

“We are experiencing online bullying, slurs, physical attacks and ultra-aggressive behavior across the country.”

Covid passports have sparked controversy in other areas where they have been introduced.

Covid passports are required in Wales and Scotland to enter nightclubs, adult entertainment venues and large-scale events. In Wales the rules also apply to cinemas, theaters, nightclubs and concert halls.

Plans for the program to roll out to England in September were scrapped by the government.

The rally continued into the evening, with protesters carrying banners criticizing the German government's stance on Covid passports

The rally continued into the evening, with protesters carrying banners criticizing the German government’s stance on Covid passports

The protest was described as relatively peaceful until a mess broke out in Grimmaische Straße in the city center.

The protest was described as relatively peaceful until a mess broke out in Grimmaische Straße in the city center.

Leipzig stopped yesterday after 1,000 protesters took to the city streets

Leipzig stopped yesterday after 1,000 protesters took to the city streets

Video footage of the disorder elicited strong reactions when it was shared online.

Jennifer Hies wrote on Twitter: “I lived in Leipzig for two years. They are literally standing in front of one of the buildings that was destroyed during Crystal Night and one block from St. Nicholas Church where the popular movement against the communist regime began, and history repeats itself over and over again.

Elsewhere Jules Lancashire tweeted: “Oh my God. Summer 2018 I visited my eldest child there during his Erasmus. I took a very informative free walking tour and thanked for never having lived what the East Germans had been through, and I never would.I’m very sad to say that now I know I was wrong.

About Victoria Rothstein

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