In the run-up to an unannounced demonstration by deniers of the coronavirus pandemic and right-wing extremists, which took place on the Domplatte, the Cologne police forcibly brought a 34-year-old man to the ground in front of the Cologne Tourist Office building and taken him into custody early on Saturday afternoon. According to a police spokesman, the man had not worn a mask and had become violent when officers spoke to him about it. Numerous people watched the scene and protested angrily against the actions of the officers.
Shortly afterwards 150 to 200 people gathered on the cathedral square. “The majority of those present apparently responded to an appeal on the Internet. But since this meeting was not registered, we stopped it, “said the spokesman. Initially, the demonstrators were offered the alternative of going to Ebertplatz” alone or in small groups “and standing there tried, among other things, to get to Hohe Strasse.
At around 1:50 p.m., the police then reported by megaphone: Because of “massive violations” of the Corona Protection Ordinance, “the meeting will be dissolved with immediate effect”. The participants were asked to move away in the direction of the main train station and Komödienstraße. The police established personal details and issued dismissals.
At the same time around 100 people had come together on the Alter Markt for a counter-demonstration in the name of the “Cologne against Right” initiative. The occasion was the demonstration against the state Corona protective measures planned from 3 p.m. on Rudolfplatz, the car parade of opponents of the Corona protective measures through the right bank of the Rhine from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. as well as the unregistered, but advertised online meeting of right-wing demonstrators on Cologne cathedral.
The motorcade on the right bank of the Rhine consisted of around 30 vehicles. In the meantime he was blocked, but was then able to continue his journey, according to a police spokesman.
The demonstrators at the Alter Markt adhered to the hygiene measures, wore mouth and nose protection and kept their distance. The police had meanwhile considered ending the rally because the number of participants was limited to 50 people.
The spokesman for the “Cologne against the Right” initiative informed the demonstrators about allegedly 200-300 hooligans and corona deniers on the station forecourt. They asked the police to intervene more strongly and denounced the alleged unequal treatment.
The police were present at the Alter Markt with around 14 emergency vehicles. “Cologne is not Kassel,” chanted the initiative’s spokesmen. The demonstrators threatened to turn themselves against the hooligans if the police did not intervene more strongly.
The participants left the Alter Markt punctually at 2 p.m. The organizers advised only to leave the square in the direction of the Heumarkt, not in the direction of the cathedral, and to move only in small groups. (with dpa and ps)
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