6,000 demonstrate in Austria against far right ball
Demonstrators are stopped by police as they gather to oppose a ball being hosted at the Hofburg palace by the right-wing FPOE party, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in downtown Vienna, Austria. (AP / Hans Punz)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, January 24, 2014 5:38PM EST
VIENNA, Austria - Austrian police have reported arrests and vandalism after about 6,000 people gathered in Vienna to demonstrate against a ball that the protesters say serves as venue for Europe's extreme right.
While most of the demonstrators were peaceful Friday, police made about a dozen arrests. They also reported damage to storefronts and at least one police vehicle.
The protests are against a ball convened by Austria's right-wing Freedom Party that demonstration organizers say acts as a magnet for the far-right fringe. Freedom Party officials deny that, and say they are the target of left-wing extremists.
Police are being criticized for declaring parts of the demonstration area off-limits for journalists. Police officials say they only want to protect reporters from injury, but Austrian news organizations say the decision limits media freedoms.