>The Show Must Go On, Even When the Performers Get Arrested In The First Act.

>I was out of town and missed all this. On the weekend, a Burschenschaft convention was held in Innsbruck. The dictionary translation of Burschenschaft is a fraternity or student league but they are not so similar to American fraternities, in that there a more pronounced ideological and political element to them. In Germany these student leagues are said to be diverse in their political views; in Austria they lean very strongly to the extreme right.
So it was probably inevitable that a Burschenshaft gathering in Austria would be met with demonstrations against rightwing extremism and neo-nazism, and a few thousand lefties did hold a parade through the city, ending with a speech by Rosi Hirschecker (a member of the resistance in Tirol during the Nazi occupation) at the sight of the former Gestapo housing — and interestly close to the convention center. There were, as far as I have heard, no outbreaks of violence between any of the groups, although their local watering holes are uncomfortably close to each other and there are regular fistfights. The Burschenschaftler had their meetings and their flag and sword ceremonies (or whatever it is that they do) up on the Tummelplatz ( a war cemetery up on the hill), met for a picnic on the mountain the next day and dispersed. Police presence in the city was very high.
On that Saturday night, the theater had a performance of an unusual open-air piece which involves the audience taking the Number 6 streetcar, known as the Iglerbahn, to various stops at which there would be scenes in the performance. At one stop (which happens to be a 10 minute hike through the woods from the Burschenschaftler ceremonies), the audience boarded the streetcar and rode to the next stop, and as the performers prepared to board their minibus to get to their next “entrance”, the police arrived, unaware of the theater performance.

What they found: 9 people, all of them foreigners, including 1 man dressed as Snow White (the Drama Head at the theater!) and 7 dancers dressed as dwarves, with some kind of props resembling bombs if you looked at them the right way, and of course no one had any papers on them. Suspicious of the lengths at which political extremists might go in order to carry out an illegal violent act, the police arrested them all.

One hour and several telephone calls later, the artists were released and allowed to move on to their next destination up the hill. Other performers had jumped in for them in the meantime, and a very long intermission evened everything out. The boys in blue even got some nice photos posing with their detainees, some of them female and quite attractive.

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