• Austria's news in English
 
Gay politician attacked at Rainbow Parade
Ulrike Lunacek. Photo: Helge Fahrnberger / Wikimedia

Gay politician attacked at Rainbow Parade

Published: 15 Jun 2014 19:48 GMT+02:00

An unknown assailant sprayed butyric acid at the politician as she was giving an interview on the sidelines of the parade. Lunacek and the interview team were not injured.

The acid damaged the Greens MP's clothes and the camera equipment. According to police spokeswoman Barbara Riehs, the acid caused around €50,000 worth of damage to the electronic equipment. The attacker had not yet been found on Sunday.

"Never before has there been an attack at the Rainbow Parade," said Lunacek at the end of the event at Vienna's City Hall. These kinds of isolated cases showed that the fight for tolerance, acceptance and respect in Austria was not over. People who spread fear and hate needed to be opposed, she added. Homosexuals and transgender people needed to combat fear and show that they were not only part of society, but at the centre of it, said the EU MP.

The attacker was wearing a white polo shirt, had dark hair and according to police, "a rather solid stature."

Around 150,000 people took part in the parade, making it the most successful one to date, said organiser Christian Hoegl from the Homosexual Initiative (HOSI) Vienna. The parade was held on the Ring, which encircles Vienna's historic centre.

A fundamental Christian counter-demonstration called "March for the Family" took place near St. Stephan's cathedral in central Vienna. The approximately 50 demonstrators were met by another counter movement under the motto of "Love Sexuality - Fight Sexism". The 200 protesters blocked the fundamentalists, who march against the Rainbow Parade every year. Five of the pro-parade demonstrators were arrested.

Butyric acid has a powerful odour.  According to Wikipedia, the substance has also been used as a stink bomb by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to disrupt Japanese whaling crews, as well as by anti-abortion protesters to disrupt abortion clinics.  Butyric acid is rated as a toxic substance by the US EPA.

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Third building evacuated as collapse feared
Photo: APA

Third building evacuated as collapse feared

For a third time in as many weeks, an apartment building in Vienna has had to be evacuated by rescue services due to fears of its imminent collapse, according to a report from the Austrian Press Agency (APA). READ  

Austrian entertainer Udo Jürgens dead at 80
Photo: DPA FILE

Austrian entertainer Udo Jürgens dead at 80

The 80-year-old Austrian entertainer Udo Jürgens died on Sunday from heart failure while walking in Switzerland. READ  

German skier dies on Salzburg mountain
Obertauern North. Photo: Robert Burwood

German skier dies on Salzburg mountain

A 24-year-old German man from Bavaria died on Saturday morning while skiing the slopes of Schönalmbahn, in the Untertauern valley near Salzburg. READ  

Special streetcar operating this weekend
Photo: Wiener Linien

Special streetcar operating this weekend

The special Ströck Christmas Tram is operating this weekend around the Ring in Vienna, and will donate all proceeds to a charity for children with heart disease. READ  

Couple intercepted at airport with machine gun
Photo: APA

Couple intercepted at airport with machine gun

An Austrian man and a Turkish woman were arrested on a plane about to take off from Vienna for Istanbul after a machine gun was found in their checked-in luggage, authorities said Saturday. READ  

Missing Austrian hiker rescued by copter in NZ
Photo: Royal New Zealand Air Force

Missing Austrian hiker rescued by copter in NZ

An Austrian hiker who went missing in a forest in New Zealand after being separated from the group he was with has been rescued via helicopter after being spotted in a valley on Friday. READ  

Police rescue kittens from illegal smuggler
Two of the rescued kittens. Photo: Burgenland Police department

Police rescue kittens from illegal smuggler

Police conducting a routine vehicle inspection in Nickelsdorf, Burgenland near the Hungarian border made a surprise find on Friday when they discovered four kittens being illegally transported, according to a report in the news daily Heute. READ  

The Local List
Top 12 German sayings
What's that about a beard? Photo: Thaddaus Zoltkowski

Top 12 German sayings

The Local List shines a little light on some of the charming eccentricities of the German language. READ  

'Girl power' for Austria's Eurovision
From left to right: Mirjam Weichselbraun, Conchita Wurst, Arabella Kiesbauer and Alice Tumler. Photo: ORF

'Girl power' for Austria's Eurovision

The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest - to be hosted by Austria in May - will be presented by three women, with this year’s winner Conchita Wurst in the Green Room. READ  

Austria seeks €3.5 billion from BayernLB
Photo: Andreas Gebert/dpa

Austria seeks €3.5 billion from BayernLB

Austria has filed a lawsuit against BayernLB on the grounds that it believes it was misled by the German lender over the true financial state of the Hypo Alpe Adria bank, which had to be nationalised in 2009. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Top 12 German language idioms
Travel & Tourism
Top mistakes tourists make in Austria
Society
Afghan refugees get integration help
Society
Waiting to be smuggled into Austria after a tortuous journey
Culture
Facing up to death over coffee and cake
Gallery
What foods did Austrians search the most in 2014?
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Culture
Our pick of Austria's best Christmas markets
Society
Vienna's Ring is about to celebrate its 150th birthday
Travel & Tourism
A slice of Austria in northern California
International
An Austrian surgeon is working to repair broken bodies in Ukraine
Travel & Tourism
Tales of Couchsurfing in Vienna
International
Nuclear incidents show dangers of weapons
Gallery
Ten things to know before you party with an Austrian
Society
The Congress of Vienna revisited
Society
New museum houses memories of Kindertransport children
International
Is Vienna at the heart of a possible new European war?
Gallery
Images from the ice storm which hit Lower Austria on the weekend
National
Returning home after 20 years away and starting a business
National
It's the most wonderful time of the year, but can be hazardous for kids
Gallery
Get ready for Christmas like an Austrian. Here's how.
National
Holocaust survivors' family retrace grandparents' steps in Vienna
International
An alpine village welcomes asylum seekers
Culture
Painting is a journey of discovery for Russian artist in Vienna
Gallery
Top 10 mistakes Austrians make in English
Culture
Guide to Austrian coffee
Gallery
Ten of the most delicious Austrian desserts you shouldn't miss
Features
No picnic with Italian bears
Features
Building a new life in Austria
National
12 etiquette tips to help you make friends in Austria
Features
The Austrian ski school churning out champions
Features
Expat life: Learning German and making music in Vienna
Society
Radical Islam in Austria is active and growing
National
The Austrian female priest who is defying Catholicism
Gallery
Top ten photo winners from the World Bodypainting Festival
Culture
Austria celebrates a film icon and brilliant inventor
Features
Why Austrians believe they are at the centre of a new Europe
National
Ideas for where to source unique children's gifts in Vienna
Culture
Funeral museum rises from the dead for Halloween
Business & Money
Advertising value with The Local
Culture
The Lowdown on Austria's goose eating season
Society
Left behind in 1939 - a tale of loss
Travel & Tourism
Ten things to never say to an Austrian
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

251
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply