Fresh news from austria:


photos HERE

SaFeb 5

After the escalation of the protests into violence of the previous night, the President and other politicians (SPO Gruene) the quality of the protests changed last night. Highly organized by SMS and cellphonemessage chains, all kinds of groups and sympathizers found their way to last night's rally. All in all an estimated number of 2000-5000 (always depending who you ask ;) people were present at the protest rally winding it's way through the inner districts of Vienna. Absolutelynothing happened that was openly violent. The government and conservative and/or right wing media as well as the FPO politicians were hard pressed tofind reasons to discredit the conduct of the people present. In the end it boiled down to the following

* "soiling or disfiguration" of various building facades due to sprayed slogans

* numerous eggs, bottles and colour-bags thrown at the OVP headquarters.

(not to forget two!! stones !!! obviously they were paying attention. Knowing the police I am quite sure they have given them numbers and put them away in a very important room where they collect all that crucial evidence)

Like I myself told the people of SOS Mitmensch in a statement where I condemned their apparent unwillingness to support saturday's protests, the majority of peaceful yet very dedicated protesters were able to contain the violent minority.

Well I myself always advocate shooting at police officers with military grade weaponry using SABOT high-velocity rounds... ;)

Still I was glad that the protests stayed peaceful if very vocal until 02:00 (I myself left after 00:00) because now it seems as if the protesters listened to the words of our Bundestommy (the Pres.) and the other people (like hehehe Cardinal Schoenborn) who appealed to thepeople that they shall keep their protests peaceful and within legalboundaries.

Highlights of this night included:

The constant stream of people joining the rally from inside their homes and from elsewhere in the city.

People (obviously bereft of the real thing) were waving red blankets, pullovers, t-shirts and carpets from their windows - oh what a moment of socialist bliss this has been !

The (at this time numbering several thosand) protesters went through!!the Westbahnhof (Vienna's largest public railway station). A really nice (maybe even unconscious) signal to the OBB employees (Austrian Railway). The Union of the OBB was the first to announce a strike to protest against the government budget cuts.

A BBC reporter interviewed us when we were on our way to the rally point. She asked a few questions that made it quite clear what the media was getting at here

Example: Since SOS-Mitmensch have revoked their support for the protests today, wont it be only anarchists and peoplewho want to raise chaos here tonight?

Well we told her that we were here to raise our voice on behalf of a unified Europe and well... most of the others will be there for loads of different reasons... would raising chaos be among them? Hey, this _government_ are the ones who have brought chaos into the political landscape of the EU!

Voice from the people:

A woman in a tobacco shop: Those foreigners (meaning EU politicians and media) should shut up. What's going on in Austria is none of their business. What we have now is better than anythiong the reds would have gotten us into.

Me on quitting the shop in response: Did it ever occur to you that theEU is NOT a foreign country anymore. "We are Europe" was a campaign slogan of the OVP! Already forgot that?

Of course neither of the quoted statements of myself are expressing my political views very accurately.
I myself am against representative state democracy. Historically even since the greeks this has always ended in dictatorship. Let's pave the way for self governing meritocracy ;)

SUN Feb 6

Tonight the protests had an interesting destination.
The TV discussion "Zur Sache" with Peter Westentaler (FPO) Andreas Khol (OVP) Peter Kostelka (SPO) and Madleine Petrovic (Gruene) was relocated from it's usual venue the "Haas Haus" in the inner city to the rather remotely located ORF HQ(Austrian State Broadcast Company). This was supposed to be secret, but somebody has leaked the information out andso the comm-network of the protest parties caught it. The protest rally was rerouted to march on to the ORF HQ to make a lot of noise there. Funny enough, _nobody_ knew this was gonna happen, not even people who werepart of the rally. Only when we had almost left behind the 12th district,most began to realize what's going to happen. In a coordinated effort,e-mails were sent to the host of this night's discussion Peter Pelinka, and the comm-network found ORF employees among the camera crew onsite in it's remote recesses. So the knowledge that there was a protest rally _right outside_ got through to the leading politicians present at thediscussion. Of course Petrovic expressed her solidarity and sympathy for those onthe streets she confronted Westentaler with the words "What do you thinkabout the fact that we have to hide away in here because the people outsideare against your government?" More remarkably and politically more important was the fact that also Peter Kostelka supported the protesters with the words "The youth organisations of our party are among them, of course we support them."

Yes that is indeed the hour of those people in the SPO who have been disappointed, frustrated, quenched and brow beaten throughout the yearsof SPO-OVP government. Now after all those years a leading SPO politician supports them instead of ignoring them. All those left wing unionists(are there even some left), youth organisation members and low-level politicians within the party are suddenly presentable. Suddenly they are an asset instead of a tolerated side effect of being a Social-Democratic party.

How times change ;)

Highlight this night.

Arriving at the ORF HQ before even the police had completely sealed it off, I tried to infiltrate it's grounds. First I was hindered by a 5meter fence with razor wire (a really nice hi-tek fence thingy, they also have cameras inside, but their fields of vision do not overlap, and the lighting is not continuous throughout the premises, so I reckoned I _could_ find a way inside) after sneaking past a few policemen patrolling through a cementary adjacent to the ORF HQ.
In a second attempt I tried to enter the compound through a remoteservice entry sneaking past another police patrol. Unfortunately I got caught at the gate itself and the police sent me on my way after I managed to convince them that I am at least harmless. (Schleich di du depp befua Ida an bock a no gib, gemma!)

Tonight the number of people present was even greater than saturdaynight, and everybody displayed a great amount of dedication marching out fromthe Ballhausplatz to the Kuenuegelberg (about 10 km) and some even went back into thecity again (I met them on may way from my home to where I work and now sit writing this mail around 02:00, there still were about 200 people)

well that's it from me

hit them from outside, we hit them from inside!!this will not stand!!

Monday 7 feb

Demos go on: Thousands on the streets of Vienna protest peacefully.
We'll keep you posted!

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