Vienna and Zurich: Large corona demos announced for Saturday
In the Austrian capital Vienna, tens of thousands of people want to take to the streets on Saturday to demonstrate against the new Corona measures. The government in Austria announced on Friday that the country would go into lockdown for ten days. In addition, vaccination is mandatory from February 2022.
The calls for a large demonstration go far beyond Austria. International groups of skeptics are also calling on people to travel to Vienna on Saturday. Groups with hundreds of members have also been set up on Telegram to organize the “joint trip to Vienna”.
Compulsory vaccination in Austria: This is how Chancellor Schallenberg explains the decision(13:42)
FPÖ boss Kickl not there – because of quarantine
Not only Telegram groups called for the demo. Political greats such as Herbert Kickl (53), head of the right-wing party FPÖ, will mobilize the masses. Kickl responded to the tightening of measures with the words: “As of today, Austria is a dictatorship!
Kickl actually wanted to speak at the demo too. Due to his corona infection, however, he is now in quarantine.
Even parts of the military are mobilizing for the demonstration. Some senior officers campaigned for the protest.
Location «extremely dangerous»
Some participants don’t seem to shy away from violence either. The Austrian journalist Michael Bonvalot shares a screenshot on Twitter. In it, a Telegram user asks to «hit the Bonvalot in the mouth next time».
According to Bonvalot, the situation is «extremely dangerous». Not only peaceful circles are calling for a rally. According to Markus Sulzbacher from the Austrian newspaper “Der Standard”, German neo-Nazi groups are also mobilizing to travel to Vienna.
Van der Bellen: “Let’s not let ourselves be divided”
Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen called in a televised address on Friday evening to remain moderate. “Let’s not be divided,” said Van der Bellen. Anger, pain, and anger shouldn’t be the primary feelings. The population should show that only exit restrictions could break the massive fourth corona wave.
The head of state also explicitly defended the mandatory vaccination announced by the government. The guarantors have rights, but also obligations. This includes the duty to protect the community.
This is what lawyer Kaspar Gerber says: Would compulsory vaccination also be possible in Switzerland?(05:01)
Also a demo in Zurich
According to several media reports, the Austrian police are said to be present in the city with around 1,300 officers. Disruptive actions and attacks are feared. According to estimates by experts, more than 10,000 people could take to the streets.
There will also be another large demonstration in Zurich on Saturday. The opponents of the Covid law are calling for the “final mega demo” in the Limmatstadt on Saturday, as it is called in the channel of the group that is critical of the measure.
From 2 p.m., the opponents want to gather on the turbine square. After that, a “freedom march” and a rally are to take place. The demonstration is approved. Well-known speakers such as Massvoll co-president Viola Rossi or satirist Andreas Thiel also want to appear.
The organizers called for a peaceful protest. How many people will come to Zurich is still unclear. (zis)