On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, a lecture by the right-wing professor Lothar Höbelt was actively prevented for the first time after weeks of protests in HS 50 of the University of Vienna. As a reaction to the first anti-fascist protest actions at the beginning of the semester in autumn, right-wing extremists have put together a hall guard with stewards in recent weeks consisting of identitarian movement activists, German national fraternity members and other right-wing extremists. This time, however, more than 200 anti-fascists came before they arrived…
Originally published by Barrikade Info. Translated by Enough 14.
On Tuesday, January 14th, 2020, around 200 anti-fascists appeared in the main building of the University of Vienna at the Ringstraße at about 3 pm, in order to occupy the two entrances of the lecture hall 50 purposefully. There a further lecture on the “History of the Second Republic” was scheduled for 4.45 p.m., which since the beginning of the semester has developed into a reservoir of right-wing extremist activists.
Not least because of the embarrassing FPÖ “historian’s report” on the history of this successor party to the National Socialists in Austria, in which Höbelt was also involved, his decades of teaching at the University of Vienna became again explosive and at the beginning of the semester a series of protest and disruptive actions began – for example on November 20 and December 3.
Right-wing extremists took over “hall protection”
The reaction of the right-wing extremists (especially members of the identitarian movement and German national fraternity) was initially to show presence and solidarity with Höbelt by increasing their participation in the lectures. A first corresponding call was already made on the day after the second protest action, on December 4, by identity spokesman Martin Sellner. On December 10th, 50 people or “two thirds” of the audience of the lecture were supposed to have been “full shade” – as they announced themselves. So Höbt’s fan base (since quite a few of the VO visitors who showed up yesterday were of about the same age, it has to be described almost like that) is usually hardly more than 25 people.
The next week, on December 17th, again up to 60 right-wing extremists took over the hall protection for Höbelt. This time, however, the fraternity members were present “in civilian clothes” so to speak, i.e. not “wearing colours”. There was abusive behaviour and threats of violence against other lecture visitors. Detailed information about the protection of the hall by the right-wing extremists and who took part can be found at the Autonomous Antifa Vienna blog here.
Subsequently, the Antifa began with a mobilization for January 14, 2020 – and a counter mobilization by right-wing extremists: Martin Sellner mobilizes for an “epic confrontation” also for the Höbelt-lecture on January 14th.
Spoiler: There was no epic struggle. Although fraternity members and identities have gathered near the university, their number is unlikely to have exceeded 30. Since many of the approximately 200 antifascists, who were mostly masked and lined up in dense rows and had been blocking both entrances to HS 50 since 3 p.m., were wondering where the fascist “hall guard” would be – it was surrounded in one of the staircases, presumably staircase 8, by a police unit and was – probably for their own protection – only exposed to the mockery of some scouts.
This is how ex-PEGIDA Vienna boss Georg Nagel (see photo below), who confidently walked up and down the university, apparently streaming live with his mobile phone in his hand, always with a “charming” comment for people he recognizes on his lips.
One of the Höbelt-lecture visitors who was prevented from attending the lecture began to rant heavily against the blockade and also shouted “Jews out!“, as one witness described – but was shouted down with antifa slogans throughout.
From 4:55 p.m. on, the police “finally” entered the university building and went to the blockades. However, the two dozen officials who had arrived did not bring about the generally expected break-up of the blockade – each counted about 100 people and was connected by the blocked lecture hall. On the contrary, the police did not seem to have any real strategy at hand. An argument with 100 hooded persons on an exposed staircase at a height of more than 10m could not or did not want to be managed by the police. Possibly, however, the mission was only to prevent the two fronts from meeting (for which they would have been quite late at 4:55 pm) – which was certainly successful with a kettle of a group of identitarians and fraternity members in a nearby stairway.
Aware of their hopeless inferiority, the fascists finally decided to visit the student representation (ÖH) at the nearby university campus – but even there they seemed to feel subjectively very insecure and had already disappeared after a short photo for social media propaganda.
Around 6 p.m. the Antifa dissolved its blockades and was released unhindered from the university by the police. No identity was verified. A more detailed chronology of the course of the blockades can be found here in this thread.
Right Professorships at the University of Vienna
Prof. Lothar Höbelt is one of a group of older Viennese university professors who, even in 2020, are still unhindered in their efforts to bring their right-wing to right-wing extremist ideas to the students in the “educational mission” of the state. Another prominent example, who also proudly belongs to the FPÖ environment, is the law professor Wilhelm Brauneder, about whom there are piles of complaints from students about racist, sexist and Nazi-despicable statements. Denazification was carried out late or not at all at many institutes of the University of Vienna. In many cases, there is continuity through the selection of the replacement staff to the present day.
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