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Thousands protest against refugee policies in Vienna

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09:15 CET+01:00
Vienna's inner city ring was blocked for hours as thousands of demonstrators came out to protest against Austria's new asylum seekers policy on Saturday.

According to police reports, around six thousand people participated in the organized demo, which took place under the slogan "Welcome to Refugees, No to Fortress Europe."

Photo: EPA/Christian Bruna

NGOs participating in the peaceful demo included SOS Mitmensch, Amnesty International, VSStÖ (Socialist Students) and the Greens.

The mass protest started with a rally at Karlsplatz, and walked around the ring to the Parliament, where a ceremony was held to commemorate those who lost their lives while attempting to cross to Europe from Turkey on inflatable boats.

Photo: EPA/Christian Bruna

Speakers denounced the terrible conditions in refugee camps in Greece, such as the Idomeni camp near the border with Macedonia, where some refugees died attempting to cross a swollen river.

There were also calls for human rights for asylum seekers, and an increase in the limits imposed on the numbers who could be accepted to arrive in Austria with refugee status.

Photo: EPA/Christian Bruna

The demo was part of a series of events taking place across Europe, in order to coincide with the United Nations anti-racism day.


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