Nationalist activists stormed a lecture on asylum in Klagenfurt, Austria yesterday dressed up in burkas and traditional Austrian clothing to carry out a pretend ‘stoning’ of one of their members in a protest against refugees.
The group of about a dozen protesters from the nationalist group Identitäre Bewegung Österreich stormed the university lecture hall in Klagenfurt around 17.30 when the lecture was taking place and unfurled a banner that read ‘Integration is a lie’.
One of the men wearing a burka proceeded to carry out a ‘stoning’ using styrofoam blocks on another protester wearing traditional Austrian clothes who had his head and hands trapped in stocks. According the group’s online statement, the man was supposed to represent an “Austrian patriot”.
The vice-chancellor of the university Oliver Vitouch, who was attending the event, received a punch in the stomach after trying to seize hold of one of the men to identify them. He later described the actions of the nationalists as an “incitement campaign”.
After the police were called, the group left the hall. An investigation into the incident has now been launched by the state office for the protection of the constitution.
It is the latest in a run of incidents involving the Identitarian group, who have targeted events and buildings in protest against what they see as the ‘Islamisication’ of Europe.
Earlier this year the group stormed a performance of a play by refugees in Vienna and threw fake blood at the crowd before getting into a fight with the audience.
When the play was put on again this week at the Rathaus in Vienna, it had to receive police protection.
The same group have also scaled the Green party headquarters in Graz and the Burgtheater in Vienna in similar protests.
A far-right demonstration is planned to take place at 14.00 in Vienna this Saturday, where police are expecting between 500 and 1000 people to take part.