Protesters demonstrated against police violence and racism in the wake of the killing of US man George Floyd in the northern US city of Minneapolis on May 25th.
The incident was filmed and went viral, with similar protests taking place in the United States and across the globe.
While Saturday’s protests were not the first to take place in Germany, they were the largest and most coordinated efforts to date.
Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt pic.twitter.com/pSQ6oX5ZUI
— Ari ?✨ (@FinalJudgement) June 6, 2020
While the protests were approved despite coronavirus restrictions, police implored demonstrators to keep social distance during the rallies.
Most people wearing face masks and streets surrounding Alexanderplatz closed off to allow for more space at anti-racism demo in Berlin. #BlackLivesMatter #blacklivesmatterberlin pic.twitter.com/uICAvXMHZH
— Rachel Loxton (@RachLoxton) June 6, 2020
A reported 20,000 turned out in Munich, along with 14,000 in Hamburg, 10,000 in Stuttgart, and large gatherings also took place in Düsseldorf, Freiburg, Cologne, Hanover, Frankfurt and several other cities.
— Steffen Jenter (@SteffenJenter) June 6, 2020
In Berlin, an estimated 15,000 people attended a demonstration at the central Alexanderplatz, despite a registration for only 1,500. Police used Twitter to tell protesters that the event was ‘full’ just 45 minutes after its scheduled start time and asked people to stop arriving.
Demonstrators in Berlin observed an 8 minute and 46 second period of silence, symbolising the amount of time that Floyd’s arresting officer placed his knee on his neck.
— alex_jmatthews (@alex_jmatthews) June 6, 2020
Altercations in Hamburg and Berlin
Although protesters and German police won praise for their handling of the protests, not all events were peaceful.
Police in Berlin were required to respond to a series of altercations against officers in the aftermath of the demonstration. DPA reports that 93 people were arrested and 28 police officers were injured, three of whom required hospitalisation.
In Hamburg, police used a water cannon against protesters who threw bottles and stones at officers.
— René Mentschke (@rene_dpba) June 6, 2020