For the umpteenth weekend in a row—and as some governments begin scrapping so-called health passes, vaccine mandates, and restrictions—tens of thousands of protesters gathered in squares and marched along streets to oppose vaccine mandates and oppressive restrictions against the unvaccinated.
This weekend’s protests, which follow massive demonstrations organized last week by the pan-European pro-democracy group Europeans United, saw tens of thousands of demonstrators rally in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic to challenge heavy-handed restrictions and oppose mandates.
Several demonstrations against vaccine mandates and unfair treatment of the unvaccinated took place in the Austrian capital on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
While Friday’s demonstration saw a motorcade of hundreds of vehicles—along with several hundred protesters on foot—travel along Vienna’s famous Ringstraße in the historic Innere Stadt district, Saturday’s protest saw what appeared to be well over 10,000 people march through the capital’s streets before eventually gathering at Heldenplatz Square.
Tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators were seen waving national flags, chanting slogans, and holding banners—some of which read “we are the antibodies”—as they walked along the capital’s streets.
A separate demonstration also took place in the city of Bregenz and saw several thousand protesters take part in the procession.
Tens of thousands of activists, along with their families, gathered in cities across Germany over the weekend to demonstrate against the left-liberal government’s stringent COVID-19 measures and vaccination requirements.
On Saturday, demonstrations against compulsory vaccinations once again took place in numerous cities across the country. The largest events took place in Düsseldorf, Freiburg, and Frankfurt, with authorities reporting some 5,000 people participating in each demonstration. Organizers, however, reported as many as 20,000 showing up.
In the city of Düsseldorf, in North Rhine-Westphalia, a procession was led by nurses, paramedics, and other medical personnel. Demonstrators were seen holding banners that read, among other things, “We work with heart, not with compulsory vaccination.”
In Freiburg and Düsseldorf, where the demonstrations were permitted, protests remained peaceful. Activists were heard chanting: “My body, my decision,” “We are the red line,” and “Peace, freedom, self-determination”.
In the Saxon town of Zwönitz—a village with just under 11,000 residents—more than 2,000 demonstrators showed up to oppose the exclusion of the unvaccinated from public life.
In northern Germany, demonstrations were hampered by poor weather. In the city of Hamburg, for example, a gathering which expected 11,000 participants was banned, despite past protests in the city having always stayed peaceful. Despite the ban, however, some people took to the streets in various parts of the city.
In Cottbus, in the federal state of Brandenburg, thousands showed up to planned demonstrations which later ended up being banned and dissolved.
In Leipzig, which saw hundreds gather for a protest march, authorities dissolved the demonstration after some participants broke through a police cordon and entered a university hospital clinic’s courtyard.
Demonstrations in Stuttgart and Munich took place earlier in the week.
Across France, for the 29th week in a row, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered to oppose vaccine passports which came into effect last Monday. Those who do not have vaccine passports are barred from entering restaurants, bars, gyms, and places where large gatherings can be held.
The largest demonstrations, divided into four rallies, took place in Paris and saw some 5,300 people participate, according to the ministry. Protestors, some of whom were accompanied by children, could be heard shouting “liberty” as they held banners with slogans opposed to vaccine passports. One banner read: “With each injection, we risk our lives, our children too.”
Per figures from the French interior ministry, some 30,000 demonstrators took part in 162 rallies across the country.
Well over a thousand people demonstrated in the cities of Lille, Strasbourg, Nice, Brest, Nantes, Rennes, Alencon, and Angers.
On Saturday, some 4,000 demonstrators opposed to vaccine passports and other COVID-19 restrictions shouted slogans and carried banners as they walked along the main thoroughfare in Palma de Mallorca, the capital city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands, Periodico de Ibiza reports.
Thousands of flag-waving Czechs massed in Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Sunday to oppose the implementation of draconian restrictions against the unvaccinated.
Zuzana Vozabova, one of the protesters told Reuters: “The state should listen to the people’s demands. The arrangements and restrictions lead us on the road to hell.”