Vienna — More than 40,000 people march in Vienna on Saturday to protest the blockade and plan to mandate vaccinations to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
In the face of a surge in infectious diseases, the government said last month that Austria would be the first country in Western Europe to impose a blockade and that vaccination would be mandatory from February.
People put up signs such as “I decide for myself”, “Make Austria great again”, and “New elections”. This is in favor of the political turmoil that brought together three prime ministers within two months.
“I’m here because I’m against forced vaccination. I’m for human rights and human rights abuses should be stopped,” one protester told Reuters TV.
“We are protecting our children,” another said.
Approximately 1,200 police officers were stationed to handle scattered protests that joined the march on Central Ring Boulevard.
Police set the scale of the protest to over 40,000 and made about 1,500 opposition protests.
According to police, police officers used pepper spray against some protesters who fired fireworks at the police and detained some marches.
Parliamentary Commission has approved this week to double the blockage period to 20 days. This is the longest period the government has ever said.
Austria, a country of 8.9 million people, reported Almost 1.2 million Coronavirus cases and more than 12,000 COVID-19-related deaths since the beginning of last year’s pandemic.
Since the start of the blockade, new cases have declined, with the exception of protests.
By Francois Murphy and Lisi Niesner