Thousands of people protest in Vienna against mandatory anticovid vaccination

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Tens of thousands of people, about 30 thousand according to the police, manifested this saturday in Vienna, Austria, against the mandatory anticovid vaccine and against the pandemic management by the conservative-ecologist government.

Summoned by the far-right opposition party FPÖ and its controversial leader, Herbert Kickl, the protesters moved through the central Ring Avenue, shouting slogans such as "peace, freedom and sovereignty", while about a thousand police officers stood guard.

The march through the center of Vienna, which joins a long list of protests organized in recent weeks, was held in a festive atmosphere, although most of the protesters did not keep social distance or wear the mandatory FFP2 mask.

In addition, photos of a banner with a photo of Adolf Hitler and the message “vaccinating makes you free” appeared on social networks, a clear allusion to the motto “working makes you free” used by the Nazis in the concentration camps.

Known and convicted right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis often attend anti-Covid demonstrations in Austria.

Kickl, who does not distance himself from those circles and who recently came to compare the discrimination of Jews during Nazism with anticovid measures, has been stirring up the political environment for months against the management of pandemics and in particular against the mandatory vaccine.

The Austrian government coalition, supported by the social democratic and liberal opposition, plans to approve in the next few days in Parliament the law that regulates the compulsory vaccine against coronavirus, which will enter into force on February 1 next.

People who do not get vaccinated will have to pay fines of up to 3,600 euros per year.

The executive, led by the Christian Democrat Karl Newhammer, assures that he was forced to resort to this extreme measure due to the low percentage of vaccination in Austria, where only 70 percent of the population is vaccinated with the complete schedule.

Given the strong and rapid expansion of the new omicron variant, some opposition Social Democratic and Liberal politicians, but also representatives of the ruling environmentalist party The Greens, have asked to postpone the application of the mandatory vaccine for a few months.

The incidence of infections in seven days is found in Austria at 1,135 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, double that of a week ago, although hospital pressure is down.


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