EPIDEMIC: Former Home Secretary Herbert Kickl, member of the FPÖ party, called earlier in the week to take to the streets against the curfew and the third confinement in force
About 10,000 people braved Sunday in Vienna ( Austria ) a ban on demonstrating against the curfew and confinement decided by the government to try to contain the coronavirus.
The police had banned this demonstration the day before following a previous parade which also gathered 10,000 people in mid-January. Many participants then did not wear masks and did not respect safety distances.
An appeal launched by the FPÖ
Earlier in the week, former Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, a member of the FPÖ party, called for taking to the streets against the curfew and the third lockdown in force. This is the first time that the far-right party has officially organized a rally to challenge the measures decided by the eco-conservative government to try to limit contamination by the coronavirus.
But this demonstration had been banned because of the “disturbances to public order” that it was likely to engender. The FPÖ then filed a second request for authorization to “defend democracy, freedom and fundamental rights”, but the police had also rejected it. She had highlighted the risk of a new source of contamination, “because of the increased transmissibility of the new variants” and “the lack of traceability of contacts” in the ranks of the demonstrators.
Four injured police officers, 800 verbalizations
According to the police, several thousand people responded to the FPÖ’s call on Sunday afternoon. Among the participants were neo-Nazi activists and hooligans. The police made ten arrests when the crowd refused to disperse and tried to march in the direction of the parliament, blocking traffic. Four police officers were injured and more than 800 people were fined for non-compliance with health measures, according to Interior Minister Karl Nehammer. The demonstration ended around 7:30 p.m.
Despite a new containment, accompanied by a curfew decreed after Christmas, Austria, which has 8.9 million inhabitants, recorded 1,190 new cases on Sunday. Schools, gyms, hotels, restaurants, non-essential stores and cultural venues are closed.