Recently in a small town in Upper Austria. The most reactionary party in Austria had called for the election campaign to begin. In order to prevent the citizens from expressing their opinion in the context of a rally, the party registered such opinions in advance at the entrance to the location, which then did not take place. The purpose of the action was to banish unpleasant voices who might dare to express criticism of the machinations of that political association to a place where they could neither be heard nor seen.
This means that the right to demonstrate was abused to eliminate unpleasant people in advance. This is not just an abuse of this right, it is extremely questionable in terms of democratic politics. Do you have so little steadfastness not to be able to deal with opposing voices? Yes, you have, because otherwise you would dare to deal with animal rights activists, hear their concerns and find solutions to burning problems together. But you don’t. Once politicians are elected, they no longer need to deal with citizens. How affable they are when it comes to voting. As soon as you have made your cross, they can no longer be reached. What’s more, they’re running away. They hide in fire stations or underground garages and have activists arrested who do nothing but ask them a question. But back to the above incident.
The rally was banned or moved to a location so far away from the actual action that the activists could neither be heard nor seen. That’s why two of them have lined up at the entrance and handed out flyers. What happened next seems like an episode from a bad movie, but it was reality. The police came and arrested the two people using the most brutal force, like being thrown to the ground. Here it is important to say that it is always and everywhere allowed to fly in pairs on public property. So, there could be no question of holding the rally. But that’s not all. Other activists were arrested for documenting the actions of the executive branch. So, there was no reason for arrest, even if this was presented differently by the executing authority. The detainees were held in police custody for six hours. Curiously, she was released just as the event ended. Of course, legal action is being taken against this unlawful practice. But what will the result be? A few years later, the court will confirm that the arrest was unlawful. However, none of them has any more of that, because the event is long over and such incidents will keep coming back.
Another example of how far the political arm of the reactionaries extends, namely into the decision of private companies, is the attempt to put up critical posters against this party in Upper Austria. The VGT was told by the company selling the billboards that they would do a billboard campaign for them, but only if the party’s name was not in the text. The same applies to various media, because no federal government has spent as much money on advertising as this one. That is why the media companies fear for their sales if critical voices also have their say. On the one hand, it is an indictment of a government that it believes it has to advertise all the time because it has nothing else to show. On the other hand, it is not really a compliment to the citizens, because it implies that they are too stupid to understand information about government work and therefore have to be fobbed off with cheap advertising slogans.
And yet we will not be silenced. After all, it’s about the future of all of us. It is time to fight back and make it clear that such an approach will not be tolerated. The best way to do this is to make your cross somewhere else.