Thousands protested against the impending blockade in Vienna

Vienna (Associated Press)-Thousands of protesters gathered in Vienna on Saturday after the Austrian government announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the country’s rapidly rising coronavirus infection.

The far-right opposition Liberal Party was one of those who called for protest and vowed to oppose the new restrictions.

Other European countries such as Switzerland, Croatia and Italy are also expected to hold demonstrations against the virus measures.

On Friday night, Dutch police opened fire on the protesters, and a demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions broke out in the center of Rotterdam. Seven people were injured.

Austria’s blockade will begin early on Monday and will initially last for 10 days before being reassessed. Lasts up to 20 days. Most shops will be closed and cultural events will be cancelled. People can only leave home for certain reasons, including shopping for groceries, going to the doctor or exercising.

The Austrian government also stated that from February 1st, the country will compulsory vaccination.

When the march began at Heldenplatz in Vienna, thousands of protesters gathered in this huge square. There are approximately 1,300 police officers on duty. They used loudspeakers to tell the protesters that they needed to wear masks, but most did not.

Shouting “Resistance!” and blowing the whistle, the protesters began to move slowly along the inner ring road of the city. Many people waved the Austrian flag and held up signs mocking government leaders such as Prime Minister Alexander Schellenberg and Health Minister Wolfgang Mukstein.

Some people wear a doctor’s scrub; others wear tin foil caps. Most signs are focused on the newly announced vaccine authorization: “My body, my choice,” one of them read. “We stand up for our children!” said another.

The leader of the Liberal Party, Herbert Kickl, announced earlier this week that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be quarantined at home. He showed up via video. He condemned the government for taking what he called “totalitarian” measures, “that it should think and decide for us.”

Austria’s vaccination rate is one of the lowest in Western Europe, and hospitals in the hard-hit states have warned that their intensive care unit has reached its capacity limit. In recent weeks, the average daily death toll has tripled.

According to government data, less than 66% of Austria’s 8.9 million people have been vaccinated.

Austrian Chancellor Schellenberg apologized to all vaccinated people on Friday night, saying it was unfair that they had to suffer under the new lockdown after doing all they could to control the virus.

“I’m sorry to take such drastic steps,” he said on the public broadcaster ORF.

In France, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Saturday condemned the incident on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, one of the French overseas territories, where violence broke out this week due to COVID-19 restrictions Demonstration. Damanen said 29 people were detained by the police overnight. The authorities announced on Friday that they had decided to deploy 200 more police officers on the island and imposed a curfew from 6 pm to 5 am until Tuesday.

The protesters set up road blockades and set fire to street furniture and cars. They condemned the COVID-19 health passes needed to enter restaurants and cafes, cultural venues, sports fields, and long-distance travel. They also protested against compulsory vaccination of medical staff.

The pass indicates that the people have been fully vaccinated and a negative test was recently taken, proving the recent recovery from COVID-19.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

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