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Activists in banana costumes block Austrian-Slovak border crossing

Activists from the Slovak and Czech Republics blocked the Bratislava-Jarovce border crossing between Slovakia and Austria for 15 minutes on Wednesday, March 9, as part of an international campaign entitled Shame on Austria.

Activists from the Slovak and Czech Republics blocked the Bratislava-Jarovce border crossing between Slovakia and Austria for 15 minutes on Wednesday, March 9, as part of an international campaign entitled Shame on Austria.

Wearing banana costumes and waving Austrian flags, they sang the Austrian version of the famous Banana Boat Song to the rhythm of drums and distributed bananas labelled Produce of Austria to draw attention to the ongoing trial of 13 Austrian animal-rights activists, who have been on trial for over a year for alleged "membership in a criminal organisation" and are facing up to five years’ imprisonment. The bananas were intended to liken the trial to that of a banana republic, the SITA newswire wrote.

The protest took place between the Bratislava suburb of Jarovce and the Austrian municipality Kitsee, the TASR newswire wrote. Protesters also distributed leaflets and bananas. The coordinator of the Shame on Austria international protest campaign, Marek Voršilka from Prague, said he considers prosecution of activists to be an abuse of legislation intended to fight organised crime, but which is being used to persecute and harass opponents of the establishment instead. Drivers stopped by protesters were reportedly amused rather than angry.

Source: SITA, TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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