Report and photos by Nick Evans.
“Stop instrumentalising us. Muslim women are fed up with being told what to wear. We want freedom to wear what we want.” The #M18 demonstration in Vienna began with speeches by Muslim women, Afghan and Syrian refugees and socialists, condemning the recent ban on the full-face ban and attacks on the right of assembly.
There was a large contingent of protesting against the deals between the EU and the Afghan government agreeing on deportations of refugees back to Afghanistan.
Recently, the Interior Minister, Wolfgang Sobotka, from the conservative Austrian People’s Party, has called for concentration camps for migrants trying to cross the border into Austria, has introduced a ban on the full-face veil and has started cracking down on the right of assembly. One of the most popular chants on the demonstration was “Sobotka muss weg!” (Sobotka must go!)
Another popular chant was, “Um Europa keine Mauer! Bleibesrecht für alle – und auf Dauer!” (No walls around Europe! Right of remain for all – and for good!)
There was also a contingent from the Austrian BDS campaign, which has just run a successful Israeli Apartheid Week, despite threats of physical violence. Some of the events had to change venue multiple times.
Video from a demo at the end of IAW, the night before the #M18 demo: