Whilethe trial started off, around 60-70 protesters took over the square infront of the court house, played music, distributed leaflets and madesure that the people inside noticed their presence. A demonstrationaround the court house with people using their drum kits put a finishingtouch to this well organized event ( report 1 , report 2 , Photos 1 ,Video 1, Video 2 ). In the evening, there were further demos inInnsbruck and in Vienna. In Innsbruck around 100 people joined in when aspontaneous solidarity march was arranged. At the end of the march thepolice decided to put a stop to the action and rounded up 15 people andmade them to hand over their personal details. In Vienna 70 peoplevociferously demanded the instant discontinuation of the legalproceedings (photos). In neighbouring Switzerland, actions started offwith the hanging up of placard s and banners in Zurich and Bern. In Bernten people organised a spur–of-the-moment demo, after they had madetheir opinion known in front of the Austrian consulate. Also in Genevaand Lucerne, people gathered in front of the respective consulates.
Germany saw quite a lot of action: In the morning, ten peopledemonstrated in front of the consulate in Bremen, where a petition washanded over demanding the end of the proceedings and the abandonment ofthe mafia paragraph §278a. At the same time, eight activists in Munichoccupied the local consulate and chained themselves to the interior. Thepolice then came and arrested the protesters. They were released shortlyafter, but know face prosecution on breaching domestic peace as theconsul wants to press charges. Anybody surprised? Shortly after, twentypeople held a demo in front of the consulate dressed up in prisoner’sclothes. In Hamburg, 16 protesters held a rally in front of theconsulate, which was conveniently closed for the day because of the demoand then took their concern to the city centre. In close by Kiel therewas a picket in front of the consulate, too, and in a spokencontribution as well as on leaflets the abstruse dimension of thesurveillance methods used by police prior to the case were addressed. InDresden, eight activists remained on the doorsteps of the consulates fortwo hours, holding up banners and distributing leaflets. In Magdeburg, amural was placed on a blank wall, stating that “Animal Liberation is notcrime”. Albeit of pouring rain, about fifty demonstrators took to thestreets of Dortmund to show their solidarity. Next to banners andplacards, the activists also brought a life-size puppet with which theywanted to allude to the breach of human rights as seen in this courtcase. About the same amount of people made their protest known inBerlin, where a procession took place from Potsdamer Platz to theAustrian embassy. Referring to the occupation of the consulate in Munichearlier that day, the police, however, refused to let the activists comenear the entrance of the building, let alone speak with the ambassador.Finally, there was a solidarity demo in Stuttgart.
But also in the non-German-speaking countries, people took theirprotests to the Austrian consulates and embassies. In Helsinki, tenpeople picketed the embassy and then gave a letter to the ambassador,stating their resistance to the repression. There were also protests andsolidarity actions in Stockholm. The Dutch capital Amsterdam got itsshare of protest, too. In London, police tried to move the protestorsaway from the embassy but to no avail. With megaphones and leaflets theactivists made their opinion on these draconian measures by the Austriangovernment known. In Spain, there were protests in Barcelona, andMadrid. And we also heard of action taking place in Warsaw.
Thanks again for your solidarity and keep on fighting!