Anti-lockdown protesters scuffled with Berlin police on Sunday, as hundreds of people defied a court ban on demonstrations.
Police said some protesters had “harassed and attacked” officers in the German capital’s Charlottenburg district while ignoring roadblocks.
Around 2,000 officers in riot gear attempted to quell the unrest.
“They tried to break through the police cordon and pull out our colleagues. This led to the use of irritants, batons and physical violence,” Berlin police tweeted.
Police confirmed that several people had been arrested, adding that law enforcers had to use water cannons to disperse the protesters.
Police arrested a number of people after scuffles between police and protesters in Berlin
The demonstration was called by the “Querdenker” (Lateral Thinkers) movement, which has emerged as the loudest voice against Germany’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Judges had prohibited several of its planned gatherings this weekend, including one for Sunday that organizers expected would attract over 20,000 people.
The court said it could not allow the rallies to go ahead over fears participants would flout rules on mask wearing and social distancing, at a time when Germany’s COVID infection numbers are on the rise.
The Querdenker movement has been particularly popular among anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists, and has also attracted members of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
jsi/nm (AFP, dpa)