Street Fairs and Demonstrations

Matti Bunzl

in Symptoms of Modernity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238428
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937208 | DOI:
Street Fairs and Demonstrations

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This chapter focuses on the events leading up to the Jewish demonstration against the recently formed coalition government of the Christian Conservative People's Party and the right-wing Freedom Party on April 6, 2000. Organized by the Association of Jewish University Students, and rendered a de facto official event of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (IKG) on account of the active participation of President Ariel Muzicant and Chief Rabbi Paul Chaim Eisenberg, the protest marked the first time Vienna's Jewish community ever took to the streets to demonstrate against postwar Austria's political hegemonies. To the participants, the historical nature of the event was evident; and while Eisenberg's opening remarks made clear that some IKG members still believed Austria's Jews ought to shun the political spotlight, the largely younger crowd gestured to a sea change in Jewish self-understanding. In countering the structural exclusions that had silenced them in the postwar era, the Jewish symptoms of modernity were about to find their voice through an act of collective resistance.

Keywords: Jews; Austria; protests; Jewish community; political hegemony; social exclusion; collective resistance

Chapter.  11851 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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