900 police officers on duty: academic ball with FPÖ celebrities

The police are on duty with numerous officers, and there is a closure around the Hofburg from 5 p.m. The FPÖ will once once more be prominently represented: as in 2023, Ombudsman Walter Rosenkranz will give the opening speech.

Although numerous high-ranking guests from the Freedom Party are expected once more this year, party leader Herbert Kickl is not taking part, as usual. EU leading candidate Harald Vilimsky is also staying away from the Hofburg despite the “super election year” of 2024. Among other things, the third National Council President and ex-FPÖ leader Norbert Hofer, who is a regular guest at the ball, is expected to come.

Five rallies registered

The ball will be accompanied by protests once more this year. The police recommend that you avoid the inner-city area as much as possible. Around 900 police officers will be on duty. According to the police, a total of five rallies were registered around the fraternity ball.

At least one of them is directly directed once morest the event: The “Offensive Against the Right” has once more called for a demonstration through the city center. The start of the protest march (motto: “No place for fascists”) has been announced for 5 p.m. in front of the University of Vienna at the Schottentor. The demonstration route leads from Schottenring via Wipplingerstrasse, Hoher Markt, Rotenturmstrasse to Stephansplatz. A final rally is planned there.

Ring is blocked in sections

Due to the demonstrations and the ban on squares, there will be traffic delays in and around the city center, according to the police. The ring will be closed to vehicle traffic between Operngasse and Schottengasse from 4 p.m. According to the police, there will also be temporary short-term traffic closures and traffic diversions in the assembly area itself, as well as on all adjacent streets. Public transport users also have to expect restrictions.

In the past, the ball was repeatedly accompanied by sometimes violent protests. In 2014 in particular, there was a lot of damage to property and a significant number of injured demonstrators and police officers. In the years that followed, however, the situation calmed down significantly.

The discontent was always directed primarily once morest German-national fraternities, who had been organizing and shaping the event since 1952. Until 2012, the event was organized by the Vienna Corporation Ring (WKR). After differences with the Vienna Hofburg, the FPÖ Vienna took over the organization, which then renamed it the “Akademikerball”.

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The guest list has repeatedly caused a stir in recent years. At the last two ball dates – in 2020 before the Corona-related break and in the previous year – Martin Sellner, among others, was also present at the Vienna Hofburg. The former head of the “Identitarian Movement”, classified as right-wing extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, recently caused a stir with his participation in a right-wing extremist meeting in Germany on November 25th, at which AfD politicians were also present and at which mass deportations of millions of people were discussed became.

We report in the live blog:


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