More than 40,000 participants at demos in Vienna «kleinezeitung.at

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Largest demonstration runs along the ring road. 1,200 police officers are on duty this time. Police separated left and right protesters. There have been several arrests.

4:59 p.m., December 4th, 2021

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© APA / FLORIAN WIESER

There was a large number of demonstrations against Corona measures in Vienna on Saturday afternoon. The long main demo train was moving from Heldenplatz via the Ringstrasse, the police estimated the number of participants in the various rallies to over 40,000 as well as the Number of counter-demonstrators at 1,500. Around 1,200 police officers are in use, there were already several arrests on suspicion of resistance to state violence.

Protesters threw among other things pyrotechnic articles, the police sat down pepper spray a. Because of the numerous march rallies, there are numerous traffic obstructions. According to the ÖAMTC, temporary closures of Franz-Josefs-Kai and Ring must be expected until 6 p.m.

In the early afternoon, the police closed the Schwedenbrücke and Marienbrücke because right and left groups were facing each other – a cordon was broken at short notice. A larger delegation of Identitären um Martin Sellner with banners like “You will never get us” and “We are the people” was finally diverted towards the highway. The left counter demo had started on Stephansplatz. The motto there: “Put on mouth and nose protection. Against Nazis, the state and capital”. She then moved on to Leopoldstadt.

Heated mood

The main demo train was stopped at 3.15 p.m. at the Gartenbaukino, which briefly led to expressions of displeasure and a heated mood. After a quarter of an hour it went on. The loudest criticism of the opponents of the measure was directed against the planned vaccination requirement – banners proclaimed, for example, “Vaccinations are genocide” or “Unvaccinated = naturally healthy”. Time and again, smaller and larger delegations separated from the demonstration, which made the situation confusing.

Frequently seen utensils were “No to compulsory vaccination”-Transparent. A large number of the participants carried Austrian flags, but they could also be seen Styrian and foreign flags – a few symbols of the QAnon conspiracy theorists. Many people are likely to have come from the federal states, so various dialects were often heard. Right-wing delegations were just as much a part of the picture as drum groups that had apparently come directly from the awareness seminar.

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

(c) APA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER)

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KLZ / Jungwirth

KLZ / Jungwirth

KLZ / Jungwirth

KLZ / Jungwirth

KLZ / Jungwirth

KLZ / Jungwirth

KLZ / Jungwirth


But there were also among the participants many families with children – Correspondingly, numerous banners such as “For love, for children and all people” or from the religious camp “Jesus protects children, not vaccinations”. Inscriptions such as “We are not serfs and no subjects” or “We think for ourselves” or various modifications of these were also carried in front of them. On the other hand, those with traditional “short must go” posters were not quite up to date – one managed to cross out the “must” and an “is” smeared over it.

The police had called in advance to avoid large gatherings because of the current corona situation and risk of infection. At Heldenplatz it was announced repeatedly that an FFP2 mask requirement applies to the demo – but the vast majority did not adhere to it.

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As videos on Twitter show, the first clashes between demonstrators and the police took place shortly after 2 p.m.

Because of the numerous march rallies, numerous traffic obstructions are expected. According to the ÖAMTC, temporary closures of Franz-Josefs-Kai and Ring must be expected until 6 p.m..

The vaccination-critical party organized in the morning MFG one Stand rally at Schwarzenbergplatz, whose participants partly moved towards Heldenplatz around noon. The main utensils at Heldenplatz and all around were “No to compulsory vaccination” banners and Austria flags, which could also be seen Styrian and Croatian flags – a few symbols of the QAnon conspiracy theorists.

Lots of families with children

There were many families with children among the participants – accordingly, numerous banners such as “For love, for children and all people”. Inscriptions such as “We are not serfs and no subjects” or “We think for ourselves” or various modifications of these were also carried in front of them. On the other hand, those with traditional ones were not quite up to date “Short has to go”-Poster – one managed to cross out the “must” and an “is” smeared over it. The whole thing was filled with self-written vaccination-critical rap and rewritten children’s songs.

The counterprogram started his Rally on Stephansplatzwhere around twelve o’clock, however, not too many people wanted to demonstrate against anti-Semitism and fascism. Motto there: “Put on mouth and nose protection. Against Nazis, the state and capital”.

The police had called in advance to avoid large gatherings because of the current corona situation and risk of infection. At Heldenplatz it was announced repeatedly that an FFP2 mask requirement applies to the demo – but the vast majority did not adhere to it.

Traffic chaos expected

According to ÖAMTC From 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., road users must expect temporary closures of Franz-Josefs-Kai and Ring. The automobile club advises driving around the city center using the belt, for example. Delays should also be planned for on the two-way line in both directions and on all entrances to the city center, such as Rennweg, Prinz-Eugen-Straße, Rechts Wienzeile, Favoritenstraße, Burggasse, Währinger Straße, Alser Straße, Praterstraße, Roßauer Lände or Untere Donaustraße.

Photo © APA/FLORIAN WIESER

The Vienna police are supported by officials from the federal states. “Better a few police officers too many than too few,” said Gass. The police must maintain protection zones for other gatherings. The fact that demonstrations interfere with one another must be prevented, but a merger of different demonstrations with the same topic is not problematic. Experience has shown that this can happen. The gathering on the popular Ring Route, for example, could grow significantly.

The police called for large gatherings like this to be avoided because of the current corona situation and the risk of infection. At the demonstrations, she checked the FFP2 mask requirement. According to Gass, the officials will have a de-escalating effect and seek dialogue. In the case of very large gatherings, there is a lack of resources to rigorously punish this administrative violation. However, one will remind of the measures, among other things, with announcements.

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