itch on 5 Dec 2000 21:54:03 -0000
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[Nettime-bold] Austrian right-conservative government passes budget, illegalizesprotests
Title: Austrian right-conservative government passes
Austrian right-conservative government passes budget, illegalizes
Vienna, 12/05/00 - As a reaction to the parlamentary vote on the
budget 2001 on wednesday, dec. 6, critics including trade unions,
oppositional parties such as the social democrats (spoe) and the
green party organized protests throughout the country. Furthermore
20.000 teachers went on strike to show their disregard with deep cuts
in the educational system.
All in all, around 60 demonstrations had been registrated, more than
30 in Vienna alone. The majority were part of "Checkpoint
Austria" (http://www.checkpointaustria.at/), an effort of a
nationwide blockade of traffic between 7am and 8am in the morning.
The action was organized by a wide spectrum of groups and aimed to
remind the population of the fact, that this budget represents a
major leap in the government's efforts towards a right-conservative,
In the early evening, women activist groups announced protested at
the parlament to express their concern about the recently nominated
minister for social and women affairs, Herbert Haupt. Being already
the 3rd exchanged minister since the building of the
right-conservative government in february, he had announced last
week, that abortion might be legal in the future only without an
agreement of the father (he denied this the day after). Still, for
critics already the fact that a male politician who is at the same
time member of an extremly reactionary party like the freedom party
(fpoe) became minister for women affairs is a remarkable step back in
the struggle of women rights.
Nevertheless the police systematically tried to prevent the rallies
by not accepting their legal status. This was argumented by the
demonstrations opposing public welfare and interest, being
responsible for increased emission of noise and exhausted fumes
intolerable for the residents. The few legal demonstration were able
to achieve this status only by guaranties to stay on sidewalks
without blocking any traffic. Beyond that, the ministry for
infrastructure - owner of most major streets in Austria - had suits
against illegalized protesters prepared. According to this legal
argumentation every demonstration could theoretically be
Considering recent blockades of anti-transit activists in tyrol or of
anti-nuclear activists at the czech border, this is even more
striking. In these cases the government not only tolerated
compareable messures but even supported them openly.
Due to the illegal status of the rallies, the police had free hand to
act extremly agressive. Protesters were pushed roughly, even hit and
received denunciations already for crossing the street. According to
estimations of Checkpoint Austria, at least 70 denunciations were
spoken out against activists until noon. They will be accused of
breach of public peace, an assault that can be sentenced with up to 3
years imprisonment. There are reports telling of 3 protestors put
under arrest but released soon after.
Photographers of the Austrian Press Agency (APA) who wanted to
document police-violence were verbally threatened, hindered and even
knocked down by uniformed and civil policeforces. In one case civil
policemen hit on a photographer's camera-equipment with having parts
of it destroyed.
Also in the evening time trade unions organized a demonstration with
between 5.000 and 8.000 participants who built a humen chain around
the parlament. The protests basically targeted the planned cuts in
the social security system. Here the police behaved more disgreet,
only minor riots were reported.
For tomorrow morning, 7am, there are further demonstrations planned
in front of the parlament.
A detailed documentation of the events is available at:
For more information in german language, please visit:
pionier der telearbeit - http://betazine.org/