The rain may have scared away some demonstrators this time. The police speak of a total of an estimated 10,000 participants who protested against compulsory vaccination in downtown Vienna this Saturday. 1000 police officers from Vienna, Burgenland, Lower Austria and Upper Austria were on duty. The protest was largely calm, initially the atmosphere was briefly tense, as reported by eXXpress.
The largest gatherings were at Heldenplatz, Schwarzenbergplatz, Human Rights Square and Sigmund Freud Park. After the end of the stand rallies of the Corona measures opponents, the participants joined together for a march rally once around the ring road in the opposite direction of travel. About 8,500 people took part in this demonstration march. In previous large demos in Vienna against the Corona measures, there were significantly more.
The demonstrators behaved peacefully, only a few were violent and committed crimes. The Vienna police speak of a total of three arrests, several pepper spray operations, reports under the Criminal Code and numerous reports of administrative violations. The mask requirement was ignored by all protest participants.
Photos of the demonstration circulated on social networks, one of which also showed a flag from the anti-Semitic QAnon movement: the group, which was formed in the USA in 2017, spreads conspiracy theories with a right-wing extremist background, according to which an influential, globally active satanic elite is kidnapping and murdering children to extract a rejuvenating serum from their blood.
At the end, Interior Minister Gerhard Karner thanked “all the police officers who were on duty today for their prudent and consistent actions. The arrests, but also the high number of reports, show once again the great challenges that have been mastered here, weekend after weekend, for more than a year.” The right of assembly is a valuable asset – “which is guaranteed and protected by the police. But it must not be misused for acts that lack solidarity and are anti-democratic.” The determined and determined intervention will continue.