Austria: thousands protest against government’s anti-migrant policy

Thousands of people took to the streets of Vienna last Saturday to protest the country’s ruling coalition of conservatives and far- right. The protest was held a year since Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s People’s Party (OeVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) formed government in December 2017.

Amid snowfall and sub-zero temperatures, the organisers estimate that around 50,000 people (with the police estimating the numbers at 17,000), waving banners reading “Fascists out of government” and “Racism gets on my nerves” took part in the protest. Some came dressed in yellow vests.

Since last year, the new government has introduced a string of tough anti-immigration laws. Most recently, it finalised the plan to cut welfare payments for immigrants, including refugees.