[ 13. Dec 2008 ]

Vienna: Solidarity Protests against Repression!

Demonstration in Vienna, 12. Dec 2008

On Friday, December 12, 2008 there were protests in Vienna against state repression in France, Germany, Greece, Austria and everywhere. This protest was part of the action days against repression.


Protestors started assembling on Schwarzenbergplatz around 2 pm and by the time the demonstration started moving around 3 pm, there were about 150 protestors taking part. The protest was held on the 12th in connection with protests that are planned all across Germany for the 13th, which is a day of action against the 129/a cases. More info :: here. Many banners and chants called attention to the similarities between the repression based on §129/a and the repression against animal rights activists in Austria based on §278a. More info :: here.

The police were clearly nervous because in the morning they sent a message to the newspapers saying that there were afraid of violent demonstrations. From the beginning there was a massive police presence at the demonstration. Besides the large number of police officers, the police had in advanced blocked of many streets with gates and also had peper spray and water cannons waiting. They also made an announcement "reminding" us that it is not allowed be wear a mask at a protest.

Nevertheless, the protestors marched off, first towards the German Embassy. The demonstration was loud, and people declared their solidarity with those facing charges of Forming a Criminal Organization according to §129 of the German penal code. Although a petition was supposed to be given over, this could not take place because the police brutally pushed the protest back from nearing the embassy. At this point the protestors backed up a bit, and then information was read about three young punks who were sentenced to 5 years prison for "attempted murder" for throwing a stone at a police officer during an eviction. More info :: here.

After that the demonstration headed back to Schwarzenbergplatz where the French Embassy is. There information was read out about the repression against activists in France, especially in Tarnac, through "Anti-Terror" laws. Two activists are still be held in custody, and the protestors demanded their immediate release as well as an end to all investigations and possible charges against them. More info :: here. No one from the embassy came out to listen to our demands or take a position, and so the protest moved on towards the Greek embassy.

The protest entered a narrow street heading towards the embassy to demonstrate their anger and outrage over the shooting of Alexandros in Athens on December 6. More info :: here. The street was cordoned off by gates. However, the protest did not even reach the gates because of police provocations including hitting and pushing protestors and trying to pull one out of the crowd. This did not succeed, but at this point the protest decided to return to Schwarzenbergplatz, where it ended.

Some protestors, feeling frustrated that the demonstration had been so restricted by the police, met again around 5 pm in front of the Opera. About 40 people marched through the center of the city through one of the main shopping streets (Kärtnerstrasse). The demonstrators yelled chants calling out for protests against the murder of Alexandros. The protest continued down the Graben and Kohlmarkt until the arrival of the police ended the protest. Demonstrators were followed by the police in the metro, and several were temporarily held at the metro station Stephansplatz. The police behaved very aggressively, as they had all day, violently grabbing people, holding them down, bashing one against a column, and calling them sexist names (such as "cunts"). One protestor was even arrested and held for several hours before being released.

Such protests are an insufficient manifestation of the rage we feel at the death of Alexandros or our outrage at the repression against our comrades here and everywhere, but we still want our comrades to know that they have our solidarity!

For the end to all investigations and trials against activists!
Freedom for all prisoners!
Fight the police -- everyday and everywhere!
Repression will never get us down! Solidarity is a weapon!

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