Guest snatched microphone

Slogans against foreigners in Innsbruck nightclub

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09.02.2024 09:00

Local patrons report a racist incident in the center of Innsbruck. Xenophobic slogans were allegedly shouted in a bar during a karaoke night. Apparently nothing was done by the staff. The pub said that they had taken down the microphone and distanced themselves from the racist statements.

How can you spend a Tuesday night? By singing karaoke, for example. One guest seems to have made it his mission to attract unpleasant attention - and warbling his own voice into the microphone was obviously not enough. Because he resorted to racism. According to eyewitnesses, it happened on Wednesday night in a bar in the center of Innsbruck. The karaoke evening runs in such a way that the titles are played by the waitress at the request of the guests.

The guest probably wanted to shine with a milestone in music history that is almost unsurpassable in its genius: "L'amour toujours" by Gigi D'Agostino. While the lyrics are about the singer always wanting to be by his love's side, the love song was probably too cheesy for the karaoke singer. Maybe he doesn't have a Valentine's Day date yet.

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We went up to the waitress and told her to take the mic away or turn the music off - but she just said that there was nothing we could do.

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Bouncer: "It's freedom of speech"
He insisted on chanting "Foreigners out" during the song. A handful of guests joined in. However, not all of the patrons agreed with the hateful chanting and didn't think the xenophobia was exactly party-appropriate. It is not known whether the owner of the restaurant (with a migrant background) would have followed the guest's wishes and left. However, the message was very disturbing to other guests and they approached the staff. There was nothing that could be done here, they said, dashing their hopes of a micro-acceptance. A bouncer is said to have said that this falls under freedom of expression.

Two contradictory statements
When asked, the club operator responded: two men (of Turkish origin) had indeed shouted "foreigners out", but the employee had reacted immediately and taken the microphone away. "Not true", the witnesses replied - nothing had happened, she had let him sing through: "We went to the waitress and told her to take the microphone away or turn off the music - but she just said that there was nothing we could do."

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Back in 2018, we proposed to the local council that a "safer clubbing" scheme based on the Zurich model be implemented in Innsbruck. The rejection was justified by the city leadership with the argument that a solution would soon be presented. Years later, nothing has happened.

ALI-Gemeinderat Mesut Onay. (Bild: Birbaumer Christof)

GR Mesut Onay

Onay again calls for "safer clubbing"
Local councillor and mayoral candidate Mesut Onay (ALI) has no sympathy at all for the matter: "It is unacceptable that young people in the nightclub scene are exposed to such amateurish behavior on the part of the city leadership and bar operators." He had already submitted an application for "safer clubbing" in 2018 and withdrew it because Mayor Georg Willi (Greens) and the responsible city councillor Christine Oppitz-Plörer (FI) announced that they were working on the issue of "safety and cleanliness in nightlife". For Onay, the two have been inactive on this issue for six years, so he will be submitting the motion again.

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