Violence today broke out in Vienna as 10,000 protesters – many from far-right groups – took to the streets to demonstrate against a new Covid-19 lockdown and mandatory vaccinations.
Demonstrations against virus restrictions also took place in Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands and North Macedonia on Saturday, a day after Dutch police opened fire on protesters and seven people were injured in rioting that erupted in Rotterdam.
Protesters rallied against coronavirus restrictions and mandatory COVID-19 passes needed in many European countries to enter restaurants, Christmas markets or sports events, as well as mandatory vaccinations.
In Italy, 3,000 turned out in the capital’s Circus Maximus, a field where in ancient times Romans staged popular entertainment, to protest against ‘Green Pass’ certificates required at workplaces, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, sports venues and gyms, as well as for long-distance train, bus or ferry travel within Italy.
In Northern Ireland, several hundred people opposed to vaccine passports protested outside the city hall in Belfast, where the city’s Christmas market opened Saturday – a market where proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test was required.
The Northern Ireland government voted this week to introduce vaccine certificates for admission to nightclubs, bars and restaurants starting Dec. 13.
‘People like us never give up,’ read one banner, in the red, white and green colors of the Italian flag. Virtually no one at the Rome protest wore a protective mask.