Austria | Crime | News | Ulrike Lunacek | Vienna

Gay Austrian Politician Attacked with Acid at Pride Parade

Lunacek

Austria's first openly gay politician, Ulrike Lunacek, was attacked with acid at Vienna's Rainbow Parade on Friday, The Local reports:

An unknown assailant sprayed butyric acid at the politician as she was giving an interview on the sidelines of the parade. Lunacek and the interview team were not injured.

The acid damaged the Greens MP's clothes and the camera equipment. According to police spokeswoman Barbara Riehs, the acid caused around €50,000 worth of damage to the electronic equipment. The attacker had not yet been found on Sunday.

Organizers said more than 150,000 people were at the parade which circumnavigates the city's historic downtown area.

Said Lunacek:

"Never before has there been an attack at the Rainbow Parade," said Lunacek at the end of the event at Vienna's City Hall. These kinds of isolated cases showed that the fight for tolerance, acceptance and respect in Austria was not over. People who spread fear and hate needed to be opposed, she added. Homosexuals and transgender people needed to combat fear and show that they were not only part of society, but at the centre of it."

Lunacek (pictured in green on the float, below) tweeted on Monday: "Commitment for equality + EU strategy gg. Homophobia continues unabated. Thank you for support!"

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Comments

  1. The Right Wing Beast has awakened again from its long slumber in Europe. There is much trouble afoot in that region and around the world. Prepare.

    Posted by: tad | Jun 16, 2014 8:45:44 AM


  2. Some people are truly awful. What could possibly make somebody spray acid on another human being, and a human being that is doing nothing but trying to make the world a better place for everyone in it?

    Never understood homophobia, or why people care about who someone else loves or what they do in the privacy of their own bedroom.

    I'd never heard of Ulrike Lunacek until today either (I live in Thailand), but I did just tweet her to say "Glad you weren't hurt". She needs to get all the support she can, as well as the message that there ARE straight people out there who aren't complete assholes.

    Posted by: Michelle | Jun 16, 2014 9:47:59 AM


  3. According to the article, the assailant seemed to be a man. What a disgrace. What motivated someone to attack a woman with acid? What was the cause of such hatred?

    Posted by: simon | Jun 16, 2014 10:06:20 AM


  4. I bet that smelled terrible. A butyric acid attack would not have been done to cause injury but to keep her from being in public.. It has an incredibly strong smell of rancid butter and vomit.

    Posted by: Matt | Jun 16, 2014 10:14:14 AM


  5. No words.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jun 16, 2014 11:41:50 AM


  6. Although this technically qualifies as an "acid attack" - the substance used is is not particularly dangerous or corrosive. Its odor is the point - not physical harm. Sea Shephard (a whale protection group) sprays butyric acid on whaling vessels to spoil their catches.
    That this was not a dangerous acid is beside the point, of course - but sensationalizing doesn't help either...

    Posted by: kipp | Jun 16, 2014 12:40:33 PM


  7. While this is horrific, it should be noted that butyric acid isn't "acid" like the acid thrown in people's faces to disfigure them. It's the source of the rancid butter smell, so it's basically a stink bomb (of course I wouldn't want it on my skin or god forbid in my eyes). Back in the early 90s, it was a typical weapon in the arsenal of radical anti-abortion activists, who would spray it in clinics to make them so noxiously stinky they couldn't do business as usual. Detestable, but certainly more honorable than the shootings and bombings others in the movement were carrying out.

    Posted by: CC | Jun 16, 2014 1:10:34 PM


  8. I was there and while I didn't see the attack or the attacker (I swear this would not have ended well for him) - I could certainly smell it. An unbelievable, unbearable stench that caused some people to throw up immediately. The good news is that this did not harm the popularity of the truck or the message at all. A few minutes after the attack it continued to draw the biggest crowd at the parade. BTW: you are making it seem like Ulrike Lunacek is the only openly gay politician in Austria. There are many, many more. She was just the first; I think she came out in the nineties.

    Posted by: Sid | Jun 16, 2014 3:16:50 PM


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