The WKR Ball (or #naziball) is not only the festive highlight of the largest German National Association of Austria, but also an annual date for the coordination and recreation of European right-wing parties. The “working meeting of patriotic parties in 2008 in Vienna” (FPÖ Mölzer), was supposed to pave the way for a unified European political party. A meeting of the FPÖ, Front National (France), Vlaams Belang (Belgium), and Ataka (Bulgaria) took place just hours before the 2008 WKR -Ball.
In the past, German activists have described it as such:
We must, as a unified force, look at this ball as only one tiny stone in a giant wall of reactionary rhetoric which has the potential of leading to a neo-fascist paradigm for all of Europe, and eventually the entire world. The academics Ball is a festive highlight of German national corporations and European right-wing parties. Thankfully, at the same time: the ball – especially through the years of unified and strong anti-fascist forces – has already lost much of its charisma and importance. We can view this as a success of recent times. The WKR -Ball remaining in the Hofburg was terminated before. We have a chance to bury it’s corpse so it will never happen again. We can do this when we stand together as a viable force. Nie wieder Nationalsozialismus!To create a strong future with the emancipatory left, we must never forget, yet bury, this past. This stone ball, and the wall it belongs too, must be buried. The time is now. Stand up, stand strong and always remember: we can and will win.”
The event is essentially viewed a masturbatory display of far right wealth and euro-centrism. Fascists dress up in their finest attire, and waltz together to celebrate their legacy of hate. It is always met with strong opposition and blockades, but this year will be a little bit different. Heinz Christian Strache, member of Parliament and chairman of the fascist FPÖ party will be in attendance this year.
Also, activists have established official blockades – called “kundgebung” in German – that are actually legal, but don’t come without restrictions. The permit allows for a standing demo to take place, and to block the street, but participants are not allowed to march. If the demonstration becomes violent or mobile, the police will declare it illegal and begin to attack and try to disperse it.
Every “kundgebung” requires one police liaison, who assumes legal responsibility for anything that happens during the event. At any time, this person or the police may yell “die kundgebung ist aufgelöst” which means the demonstration is over, and police are allowed to handle the demo as they see fit if it does not disperse. Of course, the kundgebung is no guarantee that the police will not attack the demonstrations, but it may help in court should any situation arise.
The last years No Wkr demonstrations have seen insane amounts of repression. Last year the government imposed a “danger zone,” essentially an imposition of martial law. After the demonstrations, police randomly stormed the University of Arts in Vienna, held about 300 people hostage, and searched them one by one until they finally left without making any arrests.
Afterwards, The Austrian state charged 691 people with “breach of public peace” in a wave of repression against the antifascist NoWKR protests against the far right “Akademiker Ball” in Vienna. One person, Josef, was imprisoned for six months on trumped up charges following his arrest on January 24th last year. Another was caught at a separate demonstration and spent 2 months in jail. 14 people were kept in jail for a short time, but later released. The police spend about 1 million € each year to police the NoWkr demonstrations.
Just like they did last year, our friends at WienTV will broadcast the demonstrations live:
Stay tuned to Revolution News, and the NoWkr Rebelmouse for updates and for coverage of the 2015 NoWkr demonstrations.