Pro Choice Poster Calls for Violence against Catholics and Pro Lifers
Date of incident: September 23, 2008
Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance
Attack against: Morals
Area of case: Private
Posters were placed illegally all over the city of Salzburg calling for violence against people praying in front of an abortion clinic. The posters displayed a panda kicking Andreas Laun, the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Salzburg. In bold letters the posters stated: “Kick opponents of abortion (off the sidewalk)”.In September 2008, posters with neither imprint nor contact details were placed illegally all over the city of Salzburg. They called for violence against people praying in front of an abortion clinic by showing a panda kicking Prof. Dr. Andreas Laun, auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Salzburg. In bold letters the posters stated: “Kick opponents of abortion (off the sidewalk)”.
These posters called for violence against those praying outside an abortion clinic. They also violate the rights of pro-lifers to state their conviction in a peaceful manner (i.e. the right of assembly as well as the freedom of expression). Further, it singles out a Catholic bishop and instigates hate due to his Catholic beliefs. The posters suggest violence against this bishop by showing an image in which he is actually being kicked while reading the bible.
Even though abortion has no longer been banned in Austria since 1975, it was not available in the region of Salzburg until recently. Since 2005 it is available in the state hospital on Saturday offered by a team of medical staff that travels every week from Vienna. Courageous citizens have instituted a monthly prayer meeting in front of the clinic while abortions are being performed inside. Bishop Laun is known for opposing abortion and supporting the prayer initiative in front of the clinic.
The illegal and anonymous posters spread in the city in September 2008, say in German:
“AbtreibungsgegnerInnen wegschubsen. Wir protestieren schärfstens gegen jenes frauenfeindliche und reaktionäre Schauspiel, dass sich jeden ersten Samstag eines Monats vor dem LKH in Salzburg abspielt. Erzkatholische Fundis samt Priesterschaft fallen hierbei auf die Knie um gegen das erkämpfte Frauenrecht auf Abtreibung aufzubegehren. An ihnen vorbei müssen Frauen, die sich entschlossen haben, einen Abbruch durchzuführen. Wir finden, dass wir uns das nicht mehr länger bieten lassen müssen und fordern alle fortschrittlich denkenden Menschen auf, sich dagegen zu wehren…“
Translation: "Kick (or push) opponents of abortion out. We protest severely against the reactionary spectacle hostile to women every first Saturday of the month in front of the state clinic in Salzburg. Radically Catholic fundamentalists including on the gild of priest fall on their knees, there daring to lean up against the achieved women’s right to abortion. Women who decided to have an abortion, are forced to walk by these people. We do not have to watch this any longer and call upon all modern people to stand up against this.”
View the poster here.