Protesters from the Querdenken (Lateral Thinking) group are planning to demonstrate in central Dusseldorf Dec. 6 to denounce coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related restrictions. Activists plan to gather in Rheinpark 1400-2000, though smaller demonstrations are possible elsewhere in the city center. A simultaneous counterprotest by activists opposed to the alleged presence of far-right extremists within Querdenken and similar groups will take place on Grabbeplatz.
Participation could reach the hundreds at each event. Although the gatherings will likely breach current rules on social distancing, authorities are unlikely to attempt to disperse protesters if they remain peaceful. However, police are likely to prevent participants from gathering away from the agreed demonstration venues, and related security measures could prompt localized traffic and public transport disruptions. While the events are likely to pass without major incident, isolated scuffles between rival groups of activists, as well as between police and protesters, are possible, particularly if the latter attempt to breach security cordons. Bystanders are unlikely to be targeted in any confrontations but would face an indirect threat of physical harm.
Exercise caution in central Dusseldorf Dec. 6 and avoid any demonstrations due to possible clashes. Allow additional time to reach destinations in the city center. Leave the area at the first sign of a confrontation. Heed instructions from authorities and adhere to all social-distancing requirements.