Starting at 6:00am today houses, flats and storerooms belonging to animal rights activists were raided and the inhabitants arrested all across Austria. In several cases activists were woken by armed police and brutally handcuffed. They could only look on helplessly as their homes and possesions were ransacked by police.
Doors were kicked in by balaclva-wearing armed special units of police (WEG), who treated the activists as if they were dangerous terrorists. 14 people were arrested and are on remand. They've been charged with 31 different offences related to the campaign against the the fur-promoting fashion company Kleider Bauer, but most significantly of forming a criminal organisation under §278a of Austrian law.
Kleider Bauer is reknowned for trying to silence its opponents through court order and restricting their rights to demonstrate. For almost 2 years now regular demonstrations have taken place outside various branches of the firm in the main cities in Austria. Of course, those arrested are among some of the most active in the campaign.
Solidarity with those arrested in Austria!
Abolish the fur trade!
Indymedia Austria: http://at.indymedia.org/