Share story

VIENNA (AP) — Austrian police say they have laid assault charges against eight suspects after a scuffle with audience members at a play sympathetic to refugees.

Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger said Friday about 30 people claiming membership in the Identitarian group were involved in Thursday evening’s protest, with group members on stage spraying artificial blood into the audience.

The play, called “Die Schutzbefolene,” (Those Ordered to be Under Protection), was written in 2013 by Nobel Prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek.

It is based on the occupation of a Vienna church by 60 asylum-seekers after they were told they would be deported. Their roles were played by asylum-seekers from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Police say the protesters carried banners saying “multiculturalism kills.” Scuffles erupted before they were evicted and several people were hurt.