World

6,000 demonstrate in Austria against far right ball; police report damage, arrests

  • A banner stands in front of a police line, with the words: "Different faces, Anders Breivik, Heinz Christian Strache, the same hate" during a demonstration against a  ball being hosted at the Hofburg palace by the right-wing FPOE party Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in downtown Vienna, Austria.  (AP Photo/Hans Punz)

    A banner stands in front of a police line, with the words: "Different faces, Anders Breivik, Heinz Christian Strache, the same hate" during a demonstration against a ball being hosted at the Hofburg palace by the right-wing FPOE party Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in downtown Vienna, Austria. (AP Photo/Hans Punz)  (The Associated Press)

  • 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 Photo/Hans Punz)

    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 Photo/Hans Punz)  (The Associated Press)

  • 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 Photo/Hans Punz)

    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 Photo/Hans Punz)  (The Associated Press)

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.