• Austria's news in English
Identitarians storm stage in Vienna during refugee play

Identitarians storm stage in Vienna during refugee play

The Local · 15 Apr 2016, 09:54

Published: 15 Apr 2016 09:54 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Around 30 members of the Identitarian group interrupted the performance taking place at a University of Vienna lecture hall when they stormed the stage and threw out leaflets featuring the words ‘multi-culturism kills’.

The extremists then got into a brawl with some members of the 700 strong audience, in which around eight people were injured. The action lasted around seven minutes, after which the extremists left the venue and the performance continued on to the end of the show after the interruption.

It’s the second protest from the Identitarian group in recent weeks, after a group climbed on the roof of the Green party in Graz last week and unfolded a banner that read “Islamisation kills”.

They had originally planned to stage that protest at a local mosque, but chose the Green party HQ after police learned of their intentions and formed a security cordon with dogs and more than 100 police officers.

In the latest incident last night the extremists targeted a performance by refugees of the play Die Schutzbefohlenen written by Austrian Nobel Prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek in 2013.

Jelinek wrote the play in response to the occupation of Vienna’s Votivkirche by 60 asylum seekers to draw attention to their plight after Austria said they would be deported.

Most of them claimed that they their lives were under threat if deported to their native countries but Austria disagreed and deported many of them following summer.

The group performing the award-winning play last night included asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. One Syrian actor involved in the play's production has previously spoken about what it meant to him to be able to act and work alongside Austrians.

Story continues below…

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Austrian Culture Minister Josef Ostermayer said the "shocking" incident was the latest in a string of attacks by the group.

"The constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the arts and freedom of speech are as untouchable as the protection of minorities," he said.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available