Josef S. Was Not a Political Prisoner but the Austrian Judicial System is Fundamentally Flawed
Composed on July 30, 2014
The average Austrian police officer — in a senior position or not — has little sympathy for people like Josef. To the Austrian Verfassungsschutz — the federal agency for internal security — he had long been a public nuisance. To some officials engrossed in his files, Josef is probably nothing short of an obnoxious rogue, a mutinous agitator being morally co-responsible for every other leftist act of mischievous civil disobedience.
What had happened?
In early 2014, university graduates related to the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) had invited to their annual ball. This is a big event attracting hundreds of guests. The core of attenders are independent-minded, ethnically conscious academics but since the Wiener Akademikerball is also a society event, the crowd present is remarkably diverse: paleo-conservative and liberal intellectuals, businessmen and lawyers, journalists and artists, careerists and opportunists, MPs, MEPs and Vienna city councilors, and, above all, uptight bigots who love to shake a leg and to sip champagne.
No private recreational meeting of privileged, wealthy, and powerful people in Austria is perfect unless there is a squadron of cops protecting them on the tax payers’ expense. And protection they really did need. Political activists, truly dedicated to the cause of anti-Fascism (opposing any kind of Fascism but their own), had organized a counter-demonstration.