Vienna Massive Police Presence

We landed in Vienna today and during our first walk around the massive Stephanplatz walking area noticed a few police vans, then a few more, then dozens.  We walked towards the even more massive Heidenplatz to see more and more vans, in caravans or arrayed along streets, each filled with 6 police in complete armor, from boot shields to hard helmets.  WTF?

Crowds of strollers hardly seemed to notice.  Was such an event normal or is it protective coloration not to stare at police?  A few we asked had no more idea than we did.  Was a head of state arriving?  A helicopter hovered, its sharp, irritating hum filling every street.

Vienna Police

It turns out a demonstration of right-wing fraternities had been promised, and along with it, counter demonstrations from the left.

A group of Austrian right-wing student fraternities known as the Burschenschaften will be marching in Vienna today. Several counter demonstrations are planned, and police are urging restraint.

According to a report in the Heute newspaper, 500 members of the academic Burschenschaften of the Wiener Korporationsring (WKR) have registered with police to march a planned route on Wednesday, starting at 5pm at Josephsplatz.

The Local – Austria’s News in English

 

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