News ID: 99117
Publish Date : 21 January 2022 - 21:59

BERLIN (AFP) - In Germany, more and more anti-vaxxers are joining an increasing number of demonstrations in cities across the country. Mandatory vaccination scheduled for introduction in March is mobilizing opponents of the jab as well as those in favor of the move.
“COVID Vaccines are not safe!” A man’s voice can be heard over loudspeakers during a weekly Monday night protest in Berlin against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. Every week on the streets of German cities, tens of thousands of anti-vaxxers march and their numbers are growing.
Their motivations are diverse but their opponents, people in favor of vaccination, are running out of patience and hitting the streets as well.
“Each person should decide for themselves if they want to be vaccinated or if their children should be vaccinated,” says one young protester in Berlin last Monday. “It’s dictatorial and pushes people to the margins of society,” said another older man.
A counter demonstration starts in a street nearby. Neighborhood residents are there to prevent anti-vaxxers from gathering. When the two protests collide, confrontation is inevitable. “It’s only a minority of people who try to present themselves as victims of a totalitarian regime, it’s an insult,” says one woman.
With a parliamentary debate on the plan set for next week, there’s a fear that anti-vaxxers will become more radical.
“Mandatory vaccination will add fuel to the fire,” said Dr Sophia Hunger, Researcher at the Berlin Social Science Centre. “From what I see, we can’t exclude that it will set off a violent reaction, even attacks by the extreme right.”

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