Medical students in Dresden stand up to Covid protesters

An anti-Covid measures protester confronts students in Dresden on Thursday.
An anti-Covid measures protester confronts students in Dresden on Thursday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Sebastian Kahnert
Medical students in the eastern German city of Dresden lined up in front of their university hospital as a counter protest to a group demonstrating against Covid-19 restrictions.

The students stood in white coats in front of University Hospital Dresden on Thursday evening during the protest which had been called for on social media and messaging services. 

They carried signs that said things like: “vaccinate not rant” and “no power to the reckless”.

Photos of the action captured the divisive atmosphere in Germany at the moment, where a small but growing minority of the population have been regularly protesting against Covid restrictions. 

The protest march against Covid-19 restrictions in Germany aimed to target the university, but was mostly intercepted by emergency services. Police said the demo was driven by extremists. 

Police officers asked groups of people to disperse and move on. “The situation on the ground was very dynamic,” Saxon police said.

Emergency forces secured the grounds of the university hospital, with police cars at every entrance, a DPA reporter said.

Police also aimed to protect the Saxon Parliament and prevent a “larger procession through the city centre”.

More than 1,000 officers from Saxony and Thuringia as well as from the federal police were deployed. Two water cannons were used against protesters, while a helicopter circled over the city.

Police said 45 charges for violations of local Covid laws have been filed, and more than 200 administrative offence proceedings have been initiated. Officers also initiated three criminal charges for insulting, and three for resisting law enforcement officers.

Under the current rules, demos with a maximum of 10 people are allowed in Saxony. 

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See also on The Local:

A series of protests against vaccinations and Covid rules have been taking place. On Monday about 188,000 anti Covid measures demonstrators marched through several German cities, with some clashing with police. 

In total there were more than 1,000 demonstrations throughout the country, including in Lübeck, Cottbus, Rostock and Magdeburg. 

Vocabulary

Covid deniers – (die) Corona-Leugnern

Reckless – rücksichtslos

Protest march – (der) Demonstrationszug

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.


Member comments

  1. The medical students have every right to protest being treated like shit (everyone ignoring their advice, calling them tools of the state for advocating vaccination to keep people OUT of the hospital), then having to work extreme overtime for the foreseeable future to take care of patients who cannot get routine or needed care (like cancer screenings and surgeries) in addition to taking care of all the COVID patients.

    The anti-vaxxers bear at least some responsibility for contributing to the massive number of doctors and nurses leaving the profession because of extreme overwork, and the resulting shortage of doctors to take care of the rest of it. They further abuse the rest of the medical establishment verbally and politically.

    I don’t have a clear answer, but if people refuse vaccination for an illness without a valid medical excuse, and then they land in the hospital with that illness – there should be consequences. They bear the liability for their idiocy. They should get a full bill for their hospitalization costs.

    Possibly their names should be published in their local newspapers as well.

    1. I whole heartedly agree with you. But its not just covid.

      Smokers should not be treated for cancer.
      Drinkers should not be treated for liver problems.
      Fat people should not be treated for the variety of illnesses they contract.
      People in car accidents shouldn’t be treated because they got into the car of their own free will.

      Or

      We have to accept. That people make poor choices. They still deserve compassion and treatment and privacy.
      I am absolutely against anyone attacking verbally or physically anyone who works in health care they are under alot of pressure but they also shouldn’t be surprised they are needed during a pandemic. Its like a soldier being surprised the enemy is shooting at him.

      In my experience the routine cancellations have been because of government policy not because of overwhelming covid numbers. But that’s just my experience .

      I am an advocate for treating everyone fairly. Regardless of their decisions past or present. Its not easy and people will be angry over many things. But together we thrive. Trying to be our best selves would not hurt. There’s too much hate and I truly fear we are heading down the same road the Germany did in 1940’s. I hope we don’t but this comment section fills me with dread. Marcus_475291 claims to be a doctor and hopes people die. Thats scary man.

      1. There is a qualitative difference between an acute, transmissible respiratory disease during a pandemic – where hospitalization can be easily prevented by vaccination – and other chronic (albeit self-inflicted) diseases.

        Doctors and nurses are always needed – but now they are being forced into situations where they cannot provide the best quality care – or they have to even ration care – because they are being overwhelmed with patients. Those are profoundly difficult situations that cause moral injury – where doctors and nurses can’t save people that (under normal circumstances) they could, because there are too many. They were not trained to have to constantly make triage decisions for years (and then have the public and lawmakers yell at them for trying to choose patients that are most likely to survive, based on unclear criteria).

        This whole situation is driving many medical professionals from the field permanently. I want to be able to find a doctor or hospital when I need one. Frankly whatever measures are necessary to relieve strain on the medical system need to be enacted.

        Have South Korea-style rules and contact tracing. Require FFP2 masks everywhere and enforce daily testing, vaccinated or not. At least that will shut up the AfD BfDs…

        1. Have you got any data sources that prove the reduction in hospital treatment Being linked to the vaccine and not through ages and co-morbidity? I haven’t really found any.

          I am always appalled to hear members of the public and government degrading health care professionals just for doing their jobs. Triage sucks and for such a long time does take its strain and burns them out. I have the upmost sympathy for everyone going through that. What about the healthcare professionals that have chosen to not be vaccinated? Should they not keep their job to help?
          But, as harsh as this sounds. It is a job they are paid to do. And they choose to do it.

          I have no answer to solve staff leaving the field.

          I dont think any restrictions on our lives are any good. There is data to show the possibility that restrictions may not reduce infection with the omicron variant. Also that this current wave could be the end of the pandemic. And indeed the numbers for Germany are also showing promise.

          https://youtu.be/U3W84wb5jKo

          Im a firm beliver of giving advice over draconian measures.
          People with 4 or more co morbidity are at a huge risk of complications and death from covid. And we should prepare our terrain because we can’t stop it.
          Stop smoking. Get to a healthy weight. ensure you have enough sleep about 8 hours a night. Vitamin d and K. Eat right.

          There are always going to be those idiots that ignore advice will do whatever they want. As much as it sucks those C**ts are free people too. But forced restrictions/ vaccination should never have even been considered in a free society.

  2. As an ex virologist I swore an oath as they brave students do to do no harm. These idiots on the anti vax side are doing harm so as a doctor i would refuse to treat them for anything at all. That is not doing harm. It is also doing nothing. The faster these fools get out and die the quicker we get our respect back

    I am so fed up with my colleagues being abused and our rights disrespected.

    1. I would love to give you respect for being a doctor and all through these last 2 years especially. But alas. I cannot. Hoping people die is a terrible thing. No matter what their beliefs are. If you ever have to bear witness to someone you hope dies actually dying in front of you.I hope you can live with that. Its a terrible burden to bear.

    2. The antivaxxers are driving doctors and nurses from the hospitals, resulting in ever-greater staff shortages for all of Germany. We can’t import doctors from the rest of Europe, they are having the same problems (and conditions here are not much better), not to mention the extreme difficulties in getting their credentials recognized here.

    3. Oohh, sounds like you’ve been living in the Vaterland for too long Joseph! If you swore an oath to do no harm to any human being then you’ve kinda undermined yourself by that comment. It’s that sort of delusion that I’m sure the good doctors of Belsen would have signed up to as well. Stay off the schnapps!

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