Thousands of protesters took to Berlin’s streets on Saturday (August 1), rallying against the government’s latest coronavirus measures.

Unmasked and packed together, demonstrators were angry over policies that they consider to be an infringement of their rights.

One protester said, “Our demand is basically going back to democracy. Away with these laws that have been imposed on us, away with the masks that make us slaves.”

The anti-lockdown protests took place as Germany’s infection rate ticks steadily higher.

On Tuesday, Germany’s top health official scolded the public for a lack of discipline.

Protests and demonstrations are allowed in the country, but authorities urge people to remain cautious, wear masks, and adhere to social distancing.

Another policy that has generated concern: data retention and usage.

Customers have to provide contact details to bars and restaurants to aid track and trace efforts.

Reports suggest that data is now being used for police investigations.

The DPA news agency cited several police stations, which said they had used contract tracing data to find witnesses to help solve crimes.

The reports chafe in a country that has some of the toughest privacy rules in the world, developed to counter the spectre of mass surveillance used by the Nazis or the East German secret police, the Stasi.

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Video Transcript

– Thousands of protesters took to Berlin streets on Saturday, rallying against the government’s latest coronavirus measures. Unmasked and packed together, demonstrators were angry over policies that they consider to be an infringement of their rights.

One protester saying, our demand is basically going back to democracy. Away with these laws that have been imposed on us. Away with the masks that make us slaves.

The anti-lockdown protest took place as Germany’s infection rate ticks steadily higher. On Tuesday, the country’s top health officials scolded the public for a lack of discipline. Protests and demonstrations are allowed in Germany, but authorities are urging people to remain cautious, wear masks, and adhere to social distancing.

Another policy has generated concern. Data retention and usage. Customers have to provide contact details to bars and restaurants to aid track and trace efforts. Reports suggest that data is now being used for police investigations. The DPA news agency cited several police stations which said they’d use contact tracing data to find witnesses to help solve crimes.

The reports chafe in a country that has some of the toughest privacy rules in the world, developed to counter the specter of mass surveillance used by the Nazis or the East German Secret Police, the Stasi.



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