On Saturday, around one thousand people took to the streets of Zurich to protest against government rules aimed at slowing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to RTS.
Under the slogan “Zurück in die Freiheit” (Back to Freedom) protest organisers drew an eclectic group of people together at Zurich’s Helvetiaplatz to protest against compulsory mask wearing rules and the possibility of compulsory vaccination against the virus in the future. According to a statement by Zurich City Police there were “well over a thousand participants” at the march.
Speakers at the protest criticised the authorities and their measures for containing the virus, describing them as exaggerated, counterproductive and an affront to their rights and liberties as citizens.
The municipality of Zurich had authorised the protest under the conditions that protestors wore masks and maintained social distance, conditions that were largely ignored, despite reminders from the police. The protest organiser could face charges for not respecting the conditions set by the municipality for the protest.
The crowd protesting in Zurich was far smaller than the large crowd that assembled in Berlin on Saturday. According to the BBC, Bloomberg and Financial Times, an estimated 38,000 people took to the streets of the German capital to protest against government measures to tackle the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Berlin police said there were tens of thousands of people on a street in the centre of the city. Several hundred protesters tried to storm the Reichstag, the building housing Germany’s federal parliament.
Similar protests also took place in London, Vienna and Paris at the weekend.