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Austrian police ban ‘Freedom Convoy’ from Vienna

Austrian police on Thursday announced a ban on any "Freedom Convoy" action inspired by the movement launched in Canada against Covid restrictions.

Protesters in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 20, 2021 demonstrators wave Austrian flags with the emblem turned upside down during a rally held by Austria's far-right Freedom Party FPOe against the measures taken to curb the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, at Heldenplatz square in front of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. - Austria's parliament on January 20, 2022 approved making Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for adults from next month, becoming the first European country to do so despite a wave of protests opposing the measure. Tens of thousands have demonstrated against mandatory vaccination in regular weekend rallies since the measure was announced in November in a bid to drive up the country's vaccination rate. (Photo by Joe Klamar / AFP)

As several hundred vehicles were set to converge Friday in central Vienna, as well as near a major public park in the Austrian capital, police said they feared the protesters intended to block the city’s main traffic arteries.

READ MORE: Is Austria’s compulsory Covid vaccination plan in jeopardy?

Police also said in a tweet that the protesters would cause an “unacceptable nuisance in terms of noise in a popular recreation area”, as well as pollution from fuel emissions.

Similar convoys have been banned in Paris and Brussels.

On Thursday, Canadian police threatened for the first time to crack down on the occupation of the streets of the capital Ottawa as it entered its third week.

Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” movement was launched in anger at requirements that truckers either be vaccinated, or test and isolate, when crossing the US-Canada border.

EXPLAINED: How Austria’s vaccine mandate will work

It has rapidly become a broader protest at Covid measures in general and against the Canadian government.

Member comments

  1. The Austrian authorities don’t want the protests getting out of hand like in Canada and New Zealand.

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