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Thousands protest in Vienna against Covid lockdown


Thousands of protesters gathered in Vienna on Saturday after the Austrian government announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the quickly rising coronavirus infections in the country.

The far-right opposition Freedom Party was among those who have called for the protest and vowed to combat the new restrictions.

Demonstrations against Covid measures were also expected in other European countries, including Switzerland, Croatia and Italy.

On Friday, Dutch police opened fire on protesters and seven people were injured in rioting that erupted in central Rotterdam around a demonstration against Covid-19 restrictions.

The Austrian lockdown will start early Monday and initially will last for 10 days, and will then be re-evaluated. At the most it will last 20 days.

Most shops close and cultural events will be cancelled. People will be able to leave their homes only for certain reasons, including buying groceries, going to the doctor or exercising.

The Austrian government also said that from February 1, vaccinations will be mandatory.

Thousands of protesters gathered at Heldenplatz.

About 1,300 police officers were on duty. They used loudspeakers to tell protesters masks were required, but most did not wear them.

Chanting “Resistance!” and blowing whistles, protesters began to move slowly down the city’s inner ring road.

Many waved Austrian flags and carried signs mocking government leaders like chancellor Alexander Schallenberg and health minister Wolfgang Mueckstein. Continue Reading


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