Saturday 20 December 2014

Protest against far-right event

Published 25/01/2014 | 03:42

Demonstrators gather to oppose a right-wing ball being hosted at the Hofburg palace in Vienna (AP)
Demonstrators gather to oppose a right-wing ball being hosted at the Hofburg palace in Vienna (AP)

Police have reported arrests and vandalism after about 6,000 people gathered in Vienna to demonstrate against a ball that the protesters say serves as a venue for Europe's extreme right.

While most of the demonstrators were peaceful yesterday, police made about a dozen arrests. They also reported damage to shops and at least one police vehicle.

The protests are against a ball convened by Austria's right-wing Freedom Party that demonstration organisers say acts as a magnet for the far-right fringe.

Freedom Party officials deny that, and say they are the target of left-wing extremists.

Police are being criticised for declaring parts of the demonstration area off-limits for journalists.

Police officials say they only want to protect reporters from injury, but Austrian news organisations say the decision limits media freedoms.

AP

Press Association

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