Josef S. was sentenced yesterday by the Vienna Criminal Court to a prison sentence of one year (eight months of which are conditional on a three-year probation) for breach of peace (as ringleader), attempted aggravated assault and aggravated criminal property damage. [Update: The verdict is not final and may be appealed.] The prosecution against Josef was an attack on the rights of free speech and free assembly. His conviction is a disgusting perversion of law and justice. Continue reading
Note: Many sources and links in this article are in German. These are marked with [DE].
Xenophobes march through Vienna
On 17 May 2014, the parafascist “Identitäre” movement staged a demonstration[DE] in Vienna. The group advocates xenophobia, race- and faith-based policy[DE], ethnic cleansing[DE] and a “return to traditional, Christian European values”[DE]. Up to 200 people from Austria with support from France, Germany and Hungary marched through town to wave their flags and disseminate their hate speech. It was the first significant right-wing demonstration in Vienna in years[DE]. Among others, Ludwig Reinthaler attended, a Neo-Nazi from Upper Austria whose political party was barred from participating in elections due to the imminent danger of re-engaging Naziism[DE].
Several organizations more or less from the political left (among them the University of Vienna Student Union) sought to block the Identäre march to demonstrate that they are not tolerated here. That strategy had been successful before in Germany, where even the President of Parliament participated[DE] in a sit-in to block a Nazi demonstration.
Vice News provides a very brief summary in this video:
Police collaborates with Identitäre
The Vienna police made all efforts to enable the Identitäre to carry out their march. Under the guise of enabling the Identitäre’s legal demonstration, the police guided them around the counter-protesters. When the pressure from the counter-protest increased, one police officer told the Identitäre “Friends, it’s getting tight. […] I suggest we go to the subway and end this.” (My translation from the original German quote[DE]; emphasis added.)
At some point, the police seized a banner from the counter-protesters. The Identitäre posed with this banner a few hours later, without any explanation how they got hold of this confiscated banner.