The far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) is scheduled to hold its annual Wiener Akademiker Ball at the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Vienna on Friday, January 25. Events will begin at 17:00 (local time) and associated counterdemonstrations are expected at the University of Vienna. Heightened security measures (including road closures) and localized traffic disruptions are expected around the Hofburg as protests against the event have turned violent in the past. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The Wiener Akademiker Ball has been held annually by the FPÖ since 2013. The ball is typically attended by right-wing and far-right members of European political parties, drawing intense public criticism and annual protests. Demonstrations have occurred both with and without the approval of the city government, and often have resulted in clashes between police and demonstrators. In 2014, a violent protest broke out involving around 2500 people, causing significant property damage in central Vienna, before being dispersed by police with tear gas and pepper spray.
Individuals in Vienna are advised to monitor the situation and avoid all protests as a precaution.
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