300,000 march in Germany’s COVID-19 protests, four times higher than news media estimates

People gather at the 'Alexanderplatz' (Alexander Square) in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 to protest against Corona measures and a possible compulsory vaccination. Slogan reads: 'Defeat Left-Right-Stereotype Thinking'. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
By Lucie Ctverakova
4 Min Read

On Monday evening, the number of participants in the Covid-19 protests in Germany was significantly higher than reported by many media outlets, according to research conducted by German newspaper Junge Freiheit. For example, the Tagesschau.de news outlet’s headline claimed there were thousands of people in the streets, but that is more than an understatement. At best, “thousands” would apply maybe to the counter-demonstrators.

According to research conducted by Junge Freiheit, more than 300,000 people took part in the demonstrations against the Covid-19 measures across Germany. However, the figures from the German state of Hesse are still missing. Numerous media outlets, above all the DPA news agency, wrote that around 70,000 people had taken part in the protests.

On Tuesday, Junge Freiheit asked the relevant police departments in all federal states and city-states about the number of protesters involved, which produced a far higher number than figures being presented by outlets like DPA.

For example, in Baden-Württemberg, 64,700 people at 326 meetings took to the streets, reported the Interior Ministry in Stuttgart on Tuesday.

To the knowledge of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, around 140 meetings took place in Bavaria against the Covid-19 measures, and about 56,000 people participated.

In Saxony, the authorities counted around 39,648 demonstrators in 206 meetings, with only 65 of them being registered. In 141 cases, the participants protested without prior official registration.

In Brandenburg, the police headquarters in Potsdam were aware of 95 meetings attended by around 25,000 demonstrators.

According to the Erfurt state police headquarters, around 22,100 participants took part in 79 meetings in Thuringia, 66 of which were not registered.

According to the Ministry of the Interior in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, there were a total of 45 meetings on Monday. The police counted around 14,500 participants.

In Saxony-Anhalt, the Ministry of the Interior recorded 16,700 protesters in 59 meetings for those opposed to restrictive measures.

Lower Saxony counted 11,550 demonstrators and 168 assemblies, 23 of them registered. Most of the rallies were peaceful and trouble-free.

According to the police, 8,000 protesters gathered at 67 places in Schleswig-Holstein. Rhineland-Palatinate’s Ministry of the Interior reported 9,000 people at 85 meetings.

In Bremen and Hamburg, 350 and 900 citizens followed the calls for protest. There were a total of 11 events in Hamburg.

Number of protesters in Berlin was unprecedented

In Germany’s capital, the situation was different. Significantly more people gathered on Monday than in the past. According to the police headquarters in Berlin, a total of 6,500 people took part in more than 30 rallies throughout the city. However, this also included several counter-demonstrations with several hundred participants.

In Saarland, the state police headquarters recorded 1,300 demonstrators. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the Ministry of the Interior registered 197 meetings with 34,000 participants. These assemblies also included several counter-demonstrations. Overall, 5,000 participants attended registered counter-events.

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