06 Feb 2018

Grannies against the right -- Meet the hippest demonstrators in Austria

On February 2, armed with pink knitted “pussyhats” and good humor, a group of retired women marched the streets of Vienna to commemorate Ute Block, a refugee aid icon. It was neither their first demonstration nor their last.

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Grannies against the right -- Meet the hippest demonstrators in Austria - NewsMavens
Pussy hat. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

This recommendation is dedicated to the coolest protesters against the turquoise-blue government -- a group called "grandmothers against the right".

This story defies the stereotype that elderly members of society fuel support for the far-right. "The grandmothers against the right" are present at all protests, and they are just as vocal as they are visible. One of their songs goes:

"It worries us a lot that life’s so lousy lately because the Nazi brood groans loud and blatantly! The country is very torn so we say clearly: enough! These gentlemen have betrayed Austria!"

There is little to add other than: “Yes, grandma!”

politicscommunity

Details from the story:

  • Their trademark hats are part of an international phenomenon started in the US as a reaction to the then presidential candidate Donald Trump’s sexist boasting about “grabbing women by the pussies”. For the past year, red, pink and orange hats were an intrinsic part of any women’s demonstration. They brightened not only the gloomy weather but also the miserable political landscape.
  • "The grandmothers against the right" refuse to accept the argument that the election results have offered the ÖVP no other option to form a majority coalition than partnering up with the far-right FPÖ. “No one forced Chancellor Kurz to co-operate with wild nationalists," argues member of the group Monika Salzer.
  • Salzer, a psychotherapist and a retired Protestant pastor, formed the group together with 8 other women, for an anti-government demonstration in December.
  • On February 2, roughly 200 people -- both male and female -- joined them in Vienna to form the so-called “sea of ​​lights” in memory of the refugee aid icon Ute Bock, who passed away in mid-January.
  • "It's incredible how much the group has grown in such a short time," says Salzer. Broadcasters and newspapers, also from abroad, are queuing up for interviews while sister groups form in other cities as far as Berlin.
  • Their generation, which rebuilt society after WWII, cherishes the traditions of the '68 movement and will not forgo democracy. Susanne Scholl, a first-time demonstrator, declares: "We are not going back to the Middle Ages."
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy
System.Threading.Tasks.Task`1[System.Threading.Tasks.VoidTaskResult];