Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Vienna on Saturday (20) to protest against New national lockdown announced by the government to contain the progress of Covid-19.
Many of the demonstrators carried posters that read “No vaccine”, “Enough is enough” or “Down with the fascist dictatorship”. The far-right opposition Freedom Party was among those calling for the protest and vowing to fight the new restrictions.
a Austria became the first country on the European continent to restore national imprisonment. The measure starts from next Monday (22) and comes days after the Austrian government imposed a confinement for non-vaccinated people.
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said the new lockdown would last at least 10 days and that from February 1, 2022 there would be a legal requirement for people to be vaccinated. He admitted that he asks “a lot” of vaccinators because “a lot of people don’t get along.”
a Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe. About 66% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Many Austrians are skeptical about the vaccine, a view encouraged by the far-right Freedom Party, the third largest party in the local parliament. According to Reuters, the group’s leader, Herbert Kekel, did not attend the rally because he had contracted the Covid-19 virus.
Demonstrators protest in the streets of Vienna, Austria against new restrictions and mandatory vaccination measures – Photo: Lisa Lutney/Associated Press
A strong police force was mobilized to accompany the protest. Police officers used megaphones to tell protesters that masks were required, but most did not, according to the Associated Press.
The crowd, in the center of the Austrian capital near the seat of the government, waved banners denouncing the “Corona dictatorship” or even saying “No to the division of society,” referring to the unvaccinated who have only been dumped for a week. Able to leave the house to buy food, go to the doctor or pharmacy, and report the RFI.
By mid-afternoon (local time), the crowd had gathered about 35,000 people, according to police, and marched along Vienna’s Inner Ring Road before turning back to the Hofburg.
Protests in other countries and growing cases in Europe
Several other European countries are imposing restrictions as cases increase on the continent. Protests also erupted in other countries. the day beforeDozens of people were arrested and seven injured in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, during an action against partial confinement carried out by the government.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was “deeply concerned” about the increase in coronavirus cases in Europe, which is experiencing a new wave of coronavirus infections. In an interview with the BBC, Hans Kluge, Regional Director of the World Health Organization, said that 500,000 new deaths could occur by March if urgent measures are not taken.
Austria confines the entire population and makes vaccination compulsory
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