Violence flares at pandemic protests in Germany

AP:

Police in Germany have reported sporadic violence at demonstrations against the country’s pandemic restrictions, with one protester in the eastern town of Lichtenstein biting an officer and another attempting to steal a service weapon.

Tens of thousands of people in total took to the streets in scores of German towns and cities for weekly marches that have organizers have labeled “strolls” in an attempt to bypass restrictions on public gatherings. Counter-protests were also held in towns such as Rostock and Trier, the dpa news agency reported.

Most of the rallies passed peacefully, though many broke rules on social distancing, prompting officers to intervene. People detained dozens of people, some of whom face criminal charges or fines for breaching COVID-19 rules.

Police in the eastern state of Saxony said the incident late Monday in Lichtenstein, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Chemnitz, occurred when officers tried to pull about 60 rowdy people out of a march to check their identities. Several of the protesters attacked police and sprayed them with chemical irritants.

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