Austrians protest mandatory jabs after ‘orgy of violence’ in Rotterdam



Thousands of protesters marched in Vienna against compulsory vaccination laws yesterday after a night of violence when Dutch police fired on anti-lockdown rioters.

emonstrators occupied the historic centre of the Austrian capital ahead of next week’s national lockdown and after the country said last Friday it would become the first in Europe to make jabs mandatory.

Blowing whistles, waving Austrian flags and brandishing signs mocking Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg and Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein, they moved slowly down Vienna’s inner ring road from the city’s large Heldenplatz square.

Mr Schallenberg had apologised for the lockdown on Friday night before blaming the unvaccinated for the decision. Less than two-thirds of Austrians are fully vaccinated and average daily deaths from Covid have tripled.

Shadowed by helicopter and the watchful eyes of 1,300 police officers on high alert for any civil unrest, they stopped in front of the Hofburg palace, the imperial palace of the Habsburgs, and chanted “Resistance!”

Some wore doctor’s scrubs, others donned tinfoil hats or carried signs declaring “My Body, My Choice”, and “We’re Standing Up for Our Kids!”. Many refused orders from loudspeaker toting police to wear masks.

The demonstration was planned as a show of strength by the far right Freedom Party, whose leader Herbert Kickl had declared Austria “a dictatorship” after the new restrictions were announced.

Mr Kickl was unable to address the crowd because he has caught Covid and was self-isolating. Instead he appeared in a video in which he denounced the government’s “totalitarian” measures.

Oliver Breitenbaumer (36), a workshop electrician, said, “This witch-hunt against the unvaccinated is beneath contempt.”

The protests come after seven people were wounded and 51 arrested during riots in Rotterdam on Friday evening, when police reportedly aimed fire directly at protesters’ legs. Two people were hospitalised with gunshot wounds

In what the mayor of Rotterdam called an ‘orgy of violence’, hundreds of rioters took to the streets after bars closed at 8pm, throwing fireworks and setting alight vehicles.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]



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