Austrian extremists scale theatre roof in latest protest
The far-right Identitarian movement scaled Vienna's Burgtheater last night in the second attack on a theatre performance about refugees in April.
The group again targeted a performance 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.
According to a spokesperson for the Burgtheater, on Wednesday five members of the anti-Muslim Identitarian (or Identitäre) movement climbed to the roof of the building using a ladder and climbing ropes but did not got inside the theater, where the play continued uninterrupted.
From the top of the building, they unfolded a banner that read “hypocrite” and threw leaflets down. Police say two people are now being investigated in connection to the incident.
The theatre condemned the action, writing later on their Facebook page: “Identitäre down from our house and out of Europe. You, your fear-mongering, your hate and your rabble-rousing have no place here!”
According to the theatre, the play is supported by president of the National Council of Austria Doris Bures (SPOe). Writing on their homepage, members of the Identitarian movement explained that the action took place because “illegal immigrant politicians like Doris Bures are being courted” by the theatre.
Earlier in April around 30 members of the group interrupted an earlier performance of the play taking place at a University of Vienna lecture hall when they stormed the stage and unfolded a banner that read ‘multi-culturism kills’.
That incident resulted in a fight between audience members and the far-right extremists before the group exited the hall after around seven minutes.
Members of the group also scaled the Green party headquarters in Graz earlier in April to protest against what they see as the party’s support of Muslims.