Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Vienna on Saturday to contain the country’s explosive coronavirus infection after the Austrian government announced a national lockdown from Monday.
The far-right opposition Freedom Party has called for protests and vowed to fight new restrictions.
Protest against measures taken by the government were also expected in other European countries such as Switzerland, Croatia, and Italy. On Friday night, Dutch police fired at protesters, injuring seven people in a riot in Rotterdam around a demonstration against the COVID 19 limit.
From Monday the Austrian lockdown will begin. Initially lasts 10 days and then reassessed. According to officials, it will take less than 20 days. Most of the shops will be closed and cultural events will be cancelled. People can only leave home for specific reasons, such as grocery shopping, seeing a doctor, or exercising.
The Austrian government has announced that Alpine nation will mandate vaccinations from February 1.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in a huge square when the march began at Heldenplatz in Vienna. About 1,300 police officers were working. They conveyed to protesters through speakers that they needed a mask, but most people didn’t wear it.
The demonstrators slowly sing “Resistance!” And they blew a whistle along the city’s ring road. Several waved the Austrian flag and put up signs that mock government heads such as Federal Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg and Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein.
Some even wore doctor’s coats. Others wore aluminum foil hats. Most of the signs focused on vaccine obligations printed as “my body, my choice”. “We stand up for our children!” Another said.
Herbert Kickl, the FPÖ boss who tested positive for COVID19 earlier this week and announced that he must remain isolated at home, appeared in the video. He blamed what he called “totalitarian” action by the government, which believed the government should think and decide for people.