Over 800 police deployed for right-wing march

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) has revealed that 878 police officers were deployed at a demonstration organised by a right-wing group called Die Identitaere Bewegung (The Identity Movement) in May.

Over 800 police deployed for right-wing march
Police at the right-wing march in May. Photo: APA/Pfarrhofer

This comes amidst a debate over whether the police operation around the eviction of a squat in Vienna’s 2nd district on Monday was disproportionate.

It’s thought that over 1,000 police were involved in the day-long eviction in which 19 people were removed from the ‘Pizzeria Anarchia’ house.

Of the 878 police officers deployed for the demonstration on May 17th, 110 were in civilian clothes. 

Around 100 people from the Identity Movement took part in the march, and 400 people from left-wing groups formed a counter demonstration. The march in central Vienna resulted in violent clashes between protesters and police.

A total of 58 people were arrested, and two officers were injured.

Police were forced to reach for their weapons 12 times – and had to use the baton four times. The Interior Ministry could not specify how many times they had to use pepper spray.

The majority of charges against the demonstrators included opposition to state power (20) and damage to property (19).

Meanwhile, the Vienna Socialist Party (SPÖ) is suggesting that the landlord of the ‘Pizzeria Anarchia’ house could be billed for the expensive police operation – as he went to court to request the eviction, despite having invited the young anarchists to live in the building himself in 2011.

"The question is whether the landlord is guilty of negligence, gross negligence or intent", Vienna SPÖ manager George Niedermühlbichler said.

The building is owned by Castella GmbH. 

Police in riot gear blocked off the street where the eviction took place. Photo: APA/OCZERET

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‘Decomposing smell’: Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

Austria's police department said they were called to an apartment complex in Vienna after a person was concerned about a "smell of decomposition".

'Decomposing smell': Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

This week, the Viennese police department started a weekly ‘series’ of sharing interesting stories on their social media accounts

Calling the series ‘Misunderstanding Wednesday’ (Missverständnismittwoch), the very first post is about a call they received to an apartment complex after a concerned citizen complained to emergency services about a “smell of decomposition in the staircase”.

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The alleged corpse, it turns out, was just the neighbour’s smelly shoes which were left in the building corridor, in front of their apartment.

The police didn’t say when exactly the incident took place.

“When our colleagues are called because of the ‘smell of decomposition in the staircase’… and notice that the stunk is from the neighbour’s shoes which were left in front of the apartment door”, the official Twitter account of the Vienna police department reads.

‘When in doubt it is an emergency’

The authorities were light-hearted about the misunderstanding, even sharing a “meme-like” picture on their social media accounts, saying “some missions turn out to be different than initially assumed”.

READ ALSO: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

However, they reiterated that the misunderstandings should not deter people from calling 133, the emergency police number. They added that in case of emergencies and even if you are not sure, the authorities should be called and they will assist you.

“Note: in case of doubt, it is an emergency”, the Vienna police department says. “Never be afraid to dial the emergency number.”