Severity: Warning Alert

Security: Protests denouncing lockdown restrictions to occur in multiple cities in Germany May 23. Increased security, transport disruptions likely.

This alert affects Germany

This alert began 23 May 2020 10:20 GMT and is scheduled to expire 23 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Protests
  • Location(s): Multiple cities across Germany (map)
  • Date: May 23
  • Impact: Likely increased security, transport disruptions; possible clashes

Summary
Multiple civil groups and political organizations are planning to hold protests in multiple cities across Germany May 23. The gatherings intend to denounce lockdown restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Participation in protests will vary by city, with demonstrations in larger cities likely attracting hundreds to a few thousand people. Organizers have announced demonstrations in the following cities:

  • Munich: Demonstrators plan to gather at Muncher Freiheit, Theresienwiese, and Karl-Stutzel-Platz from 1400, 1500, and 1500 respectively. City authorities are only allowing a maximum of 1,000 people to take part in the demonstration in Theresienwiese.
  • Stuttgart: Protesters intend to march from Schlossplatz to Cannstatter Wasen from 1530.


Organizers also plan to hold rallies in multiple other cities, including Hannover, Braunschweig, Luneburg, and Gottingen, but have not announced locations or times for the demonstrations.

Security personnel will almost certainly deploy to protest sites and monitor the proceedings. Police may close off roads near the demonstrations. Protesters may also march through some cities, creating localized transport disruptions. Although previous anti-lockdown rallies in Germany have been peaceful, clashes may break out if authorities attempt to disperse the protesters or if demonstrators try to cross security roadblocks. Clashes between demonstrators and counteractivists may also occur.

Background and Analysis
Protesters have been demonstrating across Germany every Saturday since May 9 to denounce the government's lockdown measures. These protests have attracted thousands of people in major cities such as Berlin, Stuttgart, and Munich. Civil groups have expressed concerns that these rallies may attract extremist elements, who may use the protests to undermine the government's authority.

Advice
Avoid all demonstrations due to the possibility of clashes. If violence breaks out nearby, vacate the area and take shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Follow all security personnel instructions. Allow additional transport time near demonstrations. Plan alternate routes to circumnavigate roadblocks.


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