Hundreds of far-right Austrian ‘anti-vaxxers’ stage lockdown protest as demand to ease restrictions spreads around world – The Sun

HUNDREDS of Austrian protestors have hit the streets to object government imposed coronavirus lockdowns.

Among the crowds were far-right anti-capitalist and anti-vaxxer demonstrators.

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Public Health Minister Rudolf Anschober announced on Tuesday that Austria would begin progressively lifting its lockdown from 1 May.

Anschober put forward several key dates in May which will see the gradual easing of the country’s measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Retail shops, hairdressers, restaurants and hotels will begin to open over staggered dates throughout the month.

But the announcement of a gradual lockdown lift didn’t deter those on the streets.

Several hundreds gathered in Vienna to protest against local lockdown restrictions, with a notable number of known far-right anti-vaxxer figures present.

Stauch anti-vaxxers have been spreading dangerous misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak, claiming the hunt for a vaccine is plot to microchip the world.

Experts fear the bizarre theories and scaremongering from the anti-vaxxer community will make it even more difficult to eradicate COVID-19 once a vaccine becomes available.

Among the protestors was Martin Sellner, the leader of the identitarian movement of Austria.

In 2019, Sellner was investigated for links with Brenton Tarrant, the terrorist charged with the Christchurch mosque shooting.

The investigation was reportedly also widened to include Sellner’s US-based fiancee, Brittany Pettibone, and her own alleged connections with Australian far-right figure Blair Cottrell.

One of protestors, who identified as Moni, told Yahoo News she felt obliged to join the protests against the coronavirus lockdown because it was the only way to show the public are “worried.”

Moni said: “We are worried and we don't want a new normal where people are afraid and where they don't feel comfortable to do things.”

The protest echoed scenes of those in the US where many have taken to the streets in several states.

Public health officials in America have warned against a premature easing of social distancing orders could lead to a second wave of the deadly COVID-19.

This was the second week of Austrian protestors gathering to defy the coronavirus lockdown.

Last week, a crowd of around 200 went against a police ban to gather in central Vienna.

The protest’s organisers, the Initiative for Evidence-Based Corona Information (ICI), want the lockdown ended.

They argue, among other things, that wearing face masks and fabric equivalents that are compulsory in shops and on public transport is counter-productive.

While there has been some criticism of Austria’s COVID-19 lockdown, the opposition and public have been largely supportive – though the far-right now says the measures are too intrusive.

Draconian restrictions were enforced for most of Europe amid the global pandemic, enforcing the public to work from home, leave the house only for exercise or to care for others.

In Italy, Spain and France it was even more severe, with exercise even more restricted and serious fines issued for anyone out of their home without reason.

Europe is slowly relaxing lockdown restrictions due to case numbers and death rates coming down – but it’s been reported many nervous residents are still too afraid to go back to normal life.

Many people fear a second wave of infections is still to come, while the world works hard to develop a vaccine.

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