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April 18, 2014

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Arrests at Austria protest against far right ball

Updated Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 | 2:25 p.m.

VIENNA (AP) — 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.