Covid-19: 35,000 demonstrators in Vienna against compulsory vaccination in Austria

Austria, Australia, Netherlands … While a new wave of Covid-19 is hitting several continents, demonstrations took place on Saturday, November 20, in several countries against restrictive measures and compulsory vaccination – for certain professions, even for the whole population, as Austria was the first to decree on Friday.

  • Demonstration against compulsory vaccination in Vienna

Thousands of people protest against compulsory vaccination and the confinement decreed by the Austrian conservative government, in Vienna, Saturday, November 20, 2021.

More than 35,000 demonstrators, according to the police, gathered Saturday at midday in Vienna to protest against the confinement and compulsory vaccination announced the day before by the government in order to fight against the brutal return of the epidemic.

The demonstration was organized at the call of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ, far right), even though its president, Herbert Kickl, a Covid-19 positive, was absent. Gathered in the heart of the Austrian capital a stone’s throw from the chancellery, the crowd waved banners denouncing “The crown-dictatorship” or even saying “No to the division of society”. All under close surveillance by the police, who carried out about ten arrests. Apart from a few smoke bombs and the throwing of cans, the demonstration took place in general calm.

A week after cracking down on the unvaccinated, Conservative Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg on Friday announced the confinement of the 8.9 million inhabitants until December 13. Moreover, despite its initial reluctance, the government is preparing a law to impose the vaccination of the adult population in 1is February 2022. The refractory will expose themselves to sanctions.

Mr Schallenberg apologized to those vaccinated about these restrictions “Radicals”. He also attacked “Political forces [du] countries which are vehemently opposed “ vaccination, denouncing a “Attack against [le] health system “.

  • Several thousand Australians demonstrate against vaccination

During the demonstration against vaccination and health restrictions due to the Covid-19 epidemic held in Melbourne, Australia on November 20, 2021.

Thousands of people gathered on Saturday in several cities in Australia to denounce the compulsory vaccination against Covid-19, required in certain States and Territories for certain professional categories. Almost 85% of Australians over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated and have returned to almost normal lives.

Police say up to 10,000 people gathered in Sydney. In Melbourne, around 2,000 people have called for the imprisonment of the Prime Minister of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, and protested against a bill to give more powers to the government of that state to fight the pandemic. No clashes with the police were reported, unlike previous protests, or calls for the hanging of political leaders.

Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has recorded more than 195,000 cases and 1,933 deaths linked to Covid-19, out of a population of some 25 million.

  • In the Netherlands, a demonstration canceled in Amsterdam after riots in Rotterdam

An electric scooter burned down in Rotterdam after a protest against sanitary restrictions that escalated into riots on November 20, 2021.

A demonstration against health measures scheduled for Saturday in Amsterdam was called off after a violent riot broke out in Rotterdam on Friday evening, organizers said. “Yesterday evening, hell broke loose in Rotterdam”, said organization opposed to health measures United We Stand Europe, referring to the chaos that erupted in the center of the port city on Friday evening, leaving at least seven injured, two of them by gunfire. Several dozen people were arrested. Demonstrators were protesting against health restrictions and the government’s plan to restrict access by unvaccinated people to certain facilities.

Despite the official cancellation, several hundred protesters gathered in Dam Square in central Amsterdam on Saturday, surrounded by a massive police presence, according to Dutch media images. In Breda, in the south of the country, near the Belgian border, around 300 people marched carrying signs saying “No to confinement”.

Saturday evening, a demonstration in The Hague degenerated into a riot. In a popular area of ​​the city where the Dutch government is seated, several hundred people threw stones and various objects at the police, and set bicycles on fire. At least one arrest has taken place.

  • In Denmark, a thousand demonstrators in Copenhagen against the return of the health pass

A demonstration to protest against the return of the health pass against the Covid-19 brought together a thousand people in Copenhagen according to the police, 2,000 according to the organizers, marking the resumption of a small protest movement launched a year ago.

The radical “Men in Black” movement, which claims to be anti-system, was organizing its first rally since the partial reestablishment of the “coronapas” in Denmark last week, two months after the restrictions were completely lifted.

“Freedom for Denmark, we’ve had enough! “, shouted the demonstrators, taking up the slogan of this group hostile to political parties. The organizers had called for demonstrations against the“Arrogance of power” of the Social Democratic Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, and “The politicization of health”. They criticize him in particular for the establishment of the health pass for officials in their workplaces.

The World with AFP

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Covid-19: 35,000 demonstrators in Vienna against compulsory vaccination in Austria