Surprised at the growing influence of anarchism on Austrian society, the police started to violently suppress all meetings of anarchists and socialist in 1882. The anarchists fought back and many police were killed. Finally, in January 1884, the authorities became so disturbed by the spread of anarchist propaganda and the increase in violent clashes between police and revolutionaries that they declared a state of siege in Vienna and promulgated special decrees against anarchists and socialists. The anarchist leader Stellmacher was murdered and so the rest, including Peukert, fled the country. From that moment on anarchism ceased to be a movement of any significance in Austria.