German Police Use Violence Against END THE LOCKDOWN Protesters in Berlin

German Police Use Violence Against END THE LOCKDOWN Protesters in Berlin

Police break up anti-lockdown protest in Germany

Thousands of demonstrators gather near parliament in Berlin, defying social distancing, mask orders

Ayhan Şimşek   | 18.11.2020

Police break up anti-lockdown protest in Germany

BERLIN

Police forcibly broke up an anti-lockdown protest near German parliament on Wednesday after thousands of protestors defied the police orders to disperse.

Nearly 5,000 protestors, including right-wing extremists and anti-vaccination activists, gathered outside the landmark Brandenburg Gate, while lawmakers were discussing a new legislation for stricter coronavirus restrictions.

As protestors refused to wear masks and keep a safe distance, the police told protest leaders to end the demonstration peacefully and later used pepper spray and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.

Berlin police said on Twitter that nearly 190 protestors were arrested on various charges, and nine police officers were injured during the protests. 

The German lower house of parliament Bundestag approved on Wednesday proposed changes to the current infection protection law, which would give the government stronger powers to impose anti-coronavirus restrictions. 

The new legislation was backed by 415 lawmakers, 236 voted against and eight abstained.

Germany has entered a month-long partial lockdown on Nov. 2 after a surge in new infections and the government is considering to extend the measures beyond the end of the month.  

On Wednesday, the country reported 17,561 new cases, and 305 more COVID-19 related deaths. The total number of virus cases now stands at 833,307 cases, with at least 13,119 deaths.

Germany has the fifth-highest tally of coronavirus infections in Europe, behind France, Spain, the UK, and Italy.

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms Says COVID Restrictions Violate Charter Basic Right of Freedom of Assembly

Conservative legal group challenges new COVID restrictions on group gatherings in Alberta

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms argues most deaths and severe cases were among the elderly and therefore it’s difficult to justify the restrictions

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms founder John Carpay: “We’re publicly objecting to new restrictions on Charter freedom to associate.” PHOTO BY NATIONAL POST FILE

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EDMONTON — A conservative legal group is challenging new restrictions on gatherings in Alberta, saying they are a violation of Charter rights to assembly. The province implemented the group gathering restrictions this week as it faces record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 cases.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, headed by lawyer John Carpay, has been involved in a number of high-profile cases over the years and has recently taken up a number of anti-COVID-restriction causes.

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The Justice Centre is also representing Canada Galaxy Pageants, a beauty pageant for women and girls based in Toronto, against a new human rights complaint made by Jessica Yaniv, a transgender person.

“We’re publicly objecting to new restrictions on Charter freedom to associate,” said Carpay in an interview with the National Post.

As yet, they aren’t filing a lawsuit or anything of that nature — just raising objections.

On Monday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, announced private gatherings would be capped at 15 people in Edmonton and Calgary, in response to surges in COVID-19 cases that are putting a strain on the hospital system and leading to the deferral of surgeries and other medical services.

As of Thursday afternoon — before Hinshaw’s daily case update — there were 126 people in Alberta hospitals with COVID-19, 19 of them in ICU. There were 4,793 active cases, and 313 Albertans have died.

Carpay argues most of the deaths and severe cases were among the elderly — the average age of death is 82 — and therefore it’s difficult to justify the restrictions.

Carpay contends the order is based on “cases” of COVID-19, “including thousands of ‘cases’ among people who are not experiencing any symptoms or illness,” he said in a statement about the challenge. He argues today’s cases include completely healthy people who have a positive test, and he disputed the reliability of PCR testing.

Alberta Health Services says the National Microbiology Lab found Alberta’s tests to be 100 per cent accurate.

Hinshaw’s order says voluntary measures in Edmonton haven’t successfully brought the case counts down, necessitating more stringent steps.

Carpay sees it otherwise. “It’s a fundamental freedom that I have as a citizen to invite 16 or 20 people over to my house if I so choose, if we choose to associate with each other,” he said.

“Whether it’s six people or 10 people or 20 people, when the government tells you how many friends you’re allowed or not allowed to have over to your house, that is a very obvious and very direct infringement of freedom of association,” said Carpay.

In her media briefings, Hinshaw has repeatedly pointed out the majority of COVID spread in the province is because of private gatherings, and restrictions protect those who are vulnerable to the disease, as those who are less vulnerable can pass it on to elderly relatives, for example. She has said the current spike in cases is due to families gathering for Thanksgiving celebrations.

Hinshaw has also said the long-term effects of catching COVID-19, even among younger people who aren’t hospitalized, ventilated or dead, are not yet known

In a news release, Carpay said the disease hasn’t killed the early projections of 32,000 Albertans, so it’s not as deadly as initially claimed.