Opponents of the Corona policy protest in Berlin

Demonstrators in Berlin protest virus measures

BERLIN — Protesters who oppose the German government’s coronavirus measures took to the streets again in Berlin on Sunday, defying bans on several planned gatherings.

Throughout the afternoon, thousands marched in the German capital’s Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte neighborhoods. More than 2,000 police officers were on duty across the city to respond to the protests.

Police had banned more than a dozen planned protests for this weekend, including from the Stuttgart-based Querdenker movement, the most visible anti-lockdown movement in Germany. A court ruled to allow one such protest, planned for an estimated 500 people on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday’s demonstrations follow a similar turnout of several thousand on Saturday, also in defiance of police bans.

One year ago, during a large-scale anti-coronavirus protest in Berlin’s government district, far-right extremists attempted to storm Germany’s parliament building. They were intercepted by police, but the incident showed the extent to which far-right activists play a role in the anti-coronavirus protest movement.