Earlier in the day, police told Sputnik that there were approximately 20,000 demonstrators and that interference was possible as the participants refused to follow the necessary health precautions. The event was organized by Stuttgart‘s Querdenken 711 initiative group to celebrate what they believe is the end of the pandemic, with one organizer billing it as “the day of freedom.” It was originally planned only for 1,000 people.
At about 5:20 p.m. local time (15:20 GMT), the organizers announced that police had required them to finish the event and clear the June 17 Street by 6:30 p.m. (16:30 GMT). The protesters responded with a disapproving murmur and slogans like “We are staying here,” “We are the people,” and others. Some were sitting on the pavement, urging everyone else to stay put until a large group began moving away at 5:40 p.m. (15:40 GMT).
As of now, only small groups of protesters, many of whom came from other regions, are remaining at the scene.