Thousands of students and youth marched in Vienna on Thursday June 6 to protest brutal police action against a climate rally last Friday. The protest rally was called for by the activist group ‘System Change, not Climate Change’. Leftist youth organizations including the Communist Youth of Austria (KJO) also joined the march.
According to reports, on Friday, Vienna Police had forcefully arrested more than 92 activists for allegedly blocking a main road in the city during the climate march. Videos also went viral that show a police officer hitting a protester who had been pinned to the ground, and a police van almost running over the head of another man while he was being restrained by officers.
Wien.orf. reported that before the start of Thursday’s demonstration a speaker addressed the crowd and reaffirmed their commitment, “We are not intimidated…Our strength is solidarity, which is much stronger than violence.”
The Communist Youth of Austria (KJO) denounced that police violence is a structural problem, whether they are attacking climate activists or peaceful football fans, however they are seemingly blind to right-wing thugs.
Activists have called for a proper inquiry into the case to find out the perpetrators among the police. Austrian prosecutors had reportedly responded that they have already begun investigating four police officers over allegedly using excessive force.