Tens of 1000’s march in Vienna in opposition to Covid measures earlier than lockdown

Many demonstrators waved Austrian flags and carried indicators with slogans akin to ‘no to vaccination’


Tens of 1000’s of individuals, a lot of them far-right supporters, protested in Vienna on Saturday in opposition to coronavirus restrictions a day after Austria’s authorities introduced a brand new lockdown and stated vaccines could be made obligatory subsequent yr.

Whistling, blowing horns and banging drums, crowds streamed into Heroes’ Square in entrance of the Hofburg, the previous imperial palace in central Vienna, within the early afternoon, certainly one of a number of protest areas.

Many demonstrators waved Austrian flags and carried indicators with slogans akin to “no to vaccination”, “enough is enough” or “down with the fascist dictatorship”.

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By mid-afternoon the crowds had swelled to roughly 35,000 individuals, in accordance with the police, and had been marching down Vienna’s inside ring street earlier than heading again in direction of the Hofburg.

A police spokesman stated there had been fewer than 10 arrests, for breaches of coronavirus restrictions and the ban on Nazi symbols.

Roughly 66% of Austria’s inhabitants is totally vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19, one of many lowest charges in western Europe. Many Austrians are sceptical about vaccines, a view inspired by the far-right Freedom Party, the third-biggest in parliament.

With every day infections nonetheless setting information even after a lockdown was imposed on the unvaccinated this week, the federal government stated on Friday it could reintroduce a lockdown on Monday and make it obligatory to get vaccinated as of Feb. 1.

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The Freedom Party (FPO) and different vaccine-critical teams had already been planning a present of pressure in Vienna on Saturday earlier than Friday’s announcement, which prompted FPO chief Herbert Kickl to reply that “As of today, Austria is a dictatorship”.

Kickl couldn’t attend as a result of he has caught Covid-19.

“We are not in favour of our government’s measures,” stated one protester, who was a part of a bunch sporting tin foil on their heads and brandishing rest room brushes. Like most protesters who spoke to the media, they declined to present their names, although the temper was festive.

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