Around 5,000 people protested Wednesday evening in Munich against mandatory vaccinations, according to police. Most of the demonstrators gathered on Ludwigstraße between Siegestor and Altstadtring. About 500 police officers arrived on the scene and initially seemed overwhelmed.
The demonstration was originally scheduled to begin in front of the main university building, but was banned by the district administration department. The organizers formally canceled their meeting, but calls for a “walkout” in the city center have appeared online.
“Chaotic scenes” on university grounds
Shortly after 6pm, there were “chaotic scenes” on university grounds. Hundreds of people walked off the sidewalks onto the roadway, and quickly Schellingstraße and later Ludwigstraße were completely under control. At first, there were hardly any police in the vicinity of the university. The usual requirements for demonstrations, namely the obligation to wear masks and to keep a distance of one and a half meters, were observed by almost no one; people quickly stood close together, and the police allowed them to do so.
“No to dictatorship”
“Peace, freedom, no to dictatorship”: this slogan was chanted again and again, and: “Resistance”. Many people had whistles with them, and some pyrotechnics were also set off. A police spokesman said the atmosphere was heated. It was impossible to control the crowd because there were no contact people in it. When the situation on Ludwigstraße eased around 8 p.m., smaller groups of protesters continued to move through the city center, with police following them.
The city of Munich assigned protesters to Theresienwiese and allowed a maximum of 2,000 people to participate with mandatory masks and distance requirements. Organizers called these conditions “unacceptable” and “inhumane” and canceled the planned protest. At the same time, they signaled in a statement that the protest could get out of control. “Frustration and disappointment are understandable,” they said. They want to “influence people so that things go peacefully on Wednesday.” They added that this will be extremely difficult, however, in this heated atmosphere.