On Saturday 13 January, tens of thousands of people braved pouring rain and cold to demonstrate in Vienna against the new conservative-far right coalition government, one of Austria’s largest demonstrations in recent times. The police estimated participation at 20,000; organisers had it at 70,000.
Socialists from the Revolutionary Socialist Organisation and the leftwing coalition Aufbruch marched alongside school students, refugee organisations and the anti-fascist pensioners’ group “Omas Gegen Rechts”. Crowds chanted “long live international solidarity” and “Austria will not be conquered by fascists”. 13 January was the day that President Alexander van der Bellen approved the conservative People’s Party’s plan for a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe).
The coalition came about after the previous conservative-social democrat coalition fell apart in May. The far-right FPOe under Heinz-Christian Strache will be given responsibility for foreign, interior and defence ministries.