“Defend Democracy”: Anti-rightist demos in Austria too

“The right-wing actively pursues a politics that wants to expel people of color and those who do not fit their ethno-racist ideology from Europe,” said Mireil Nkoso, spokesperson and co-organizer of “Black Voice Austria”. (SPÖ). “As a whole civil society based on unity, we must fight this loudly.”

Political action is needed to “eliminate the political reproduction of right-wing extremist parties such as the FPÖ”. The FPÖ is explicitly named as a protest target in a demonstration calling to “stand against right-wing extremism and racism”. It is as “bad” as the German AfD, against which the protests in Germany were primarily directed.

Reuters/Lisa Johansen

Around a million people took to the streets in Germany over the weekend to protest against right-wing extremism and racism

Paula Dorden from “Fridays for Future Austria” talks about a “tipping point” in the “super election year 2024”. Right-wing extremists are also gaining strength in Austria. “Where's the cry?” Dordon asked over the airwaves. “'Never again' means loud again!”

Fenninger: “We're drawing a red line here and now”

“The exodus fantasies of the New Right are shockingly reminiscent of the Nazis' infamous 'Madagascar Project,'” warned Erich Feninger, a spokesman for the Platform for Humanitarian Asylum Policy. In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels considered deporting four million Jews to an East African island. “We have learned from history. We don't see completely dusty fascist ideas being dug out of the cellars again today. We draw a red line here now.

This call is supported by many NGOs. Supporters are SOS Mitmensch, Südwind, Caritas, Catholic Action Austria, The Austrian Federation of Trade Unions (ÖGB) and the Chamber of Labor (AK). Representatives from the Jewish and Muslim religious communities and representatives from the arts and culture sector will also attend, organizers said.

The SPÖ and the Greens expressed support

The SPÖ and the Greens are backing a planned “sea of ​​lights” rally in Vienna. Both sides issued related calls on X (Twitter). SPÖ leader Andreas Pöbler and Green EU front-runner Lena Schilling have publicly announced their participation, among others. However, politicians will not be among the speakers on stage at the event, Fenninger told APA.

Organizers expect up to 10,000 people to participate in Vienna – more on this at wien.ORF.at. The action begins at 6 pm in front of Parliament. A human chain should be formed around Parliament.

Protests were also announced in Innsbruck and Salzburg

Demonstrations are planned in Innsbruck and Salzburg on Friday. The “Stand Against the Right” rally takes place in the Tyrolean state capital. Tyrol for Democracy and Diversity” will take place at Landhausplatz at 5 p.m. At the same time, a protest “Together with humanity, solidarity and against extremism” begins in front of the main train station in Salzburg, which many NGOs have called for.

“Now, with right-wing parties on the rise, we must all fight back loudly against the shocking developments in European asylum policy and the threat posed by growing right-wing extremism,” the announcement said.

The protest is supported by activists in Salzburg for the global, anti-racist solidarity movement “#nojusticenopeace” (Antria Salzburg), Solidarisches Salzburg, ÖH Salzburg, Grandma Against the Right, “Fridays for the Future”, “TalkTogether”. and the Afro-Asian Institute (AAI) Salzburg.

A crowd of rights as a trigger

The rally is modeled after similar protests in Germany over the weekend. About a million people took to the streets against the right wing. Some rallies were called off due to crowding. The trigger was a November 25 revelation by the Center for Correctional Research about a gathering of right-wing extremists.

AfD politicians and Martin Zellner, former head of the far-right extremist Identity Movement in Austria, took part. According to research, Sellner revealed plans to deport millions of immigrants.

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