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(en) Swiss, Mobilization against the WEF & Davos - The demo of January 22 against the WEF is dead...

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 21 Jan 2005 18:59:30 +0100 (CET)

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Long live acts of protest in Berne? old city from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M.!
Below is the Anti-WEF Alliance? new call explaining its vision for the
22nd. Be creative! We will not let them intimidate us! -- Wreck the WEF!!!
On January 11, 2005, Berne city officials refused the permit to protest
against the WEF that the Anti-WEF Alliance had requested on December 7,
2004. The city? refusal is in response to the threat of an occupation of
downtown by "the largest police presence the city has ever seen" (police
chief Blumer). The city wanted to enclose the protesters on the Place
Federale, and they would have had to follow a city-orchestrated route,
restricted by police barricades, stretching from the station to the Place
Federale. No one wants to protest in a cage, and with this diktat, the city
of Berne is making a concerted effort to ensure just that. Under such
conditions, the Anti-WEF Alliance cannot carry out the mass

The Anti-WEF Alliance wants to protest the dismantling of social services,
wage dumping, privatization, racist discrimination and war. All of us who
are mobilized against the WEF want to reach as many people as possible
while avoiding confrontation with the police. Our goal was that everyone
who wanted to express criticism of the WEF and its policies could
participate without fear in the demonstration.
The Anti-WEF Alliance was open to negotiating the actual route of the
demonstration from the moment we submitted our request to
demonstrate. The city of Berne and the chief of police only wanted to
impose demands upon us, and so negotiations never took place.
Apparently, the officials don? want a large demonstration against the
annual meeting of these so-called "global leaders," whether it is before or
during the WEF whenever it is held in Switzerland. Federal officials have
announced that energetic measures will be taken against any
unauthorized demonstration. In Berne, officials have even banned
discussion of the WEF from downtown: the international conference, "The
Other Davos," that was to take place in the Progr on the
Waisenhausplatz, has been moved to the Dampfzentrale for "security

This Berne policy, which passed with a pink-green majority, narrows the
right to expression, to hold public meetings and demonstrations. The
city's demands set a dangerous precedent. They affect not only the anti-
WEF movement but all Swiss organizations, unions and social movements
fighting against the erosion of their quality of life and working
conditions. Furthermore, the Left in government support and reinforce
the current harshening of repression led by the bourgeoisie.
Under these circumstances, we are cancelling our plans for the
anticipated demonstration, but we are not cancelling our protests against
the WEF--to the contrary. In the heart of a city occupied by police,
despite their repression, we can still mount resistance.
They will neither dictate conditions to us nor take away our public space.
We reclaim our right to resist in the form of other creative actions. On
January 22, from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M., we call for protests in downtown
Berne against the WEF and against the suppression of the right to protest.
Diverse methods are possible--street theatre, music, sandwich boards,
petitions against the WEF, a "funeral march" for the right to protest, and
even just carrying a radio. From 1:00 to 6:00, Radio RaBe (95.6 MhZ) will
be broadcasting a special direct show on the WEF.
The outlawed Anti-WEF demonstration could stretch to every street

In Berne, due to the police occupation, actions will be more difficult to
pull off. We must be careful that the police do not surround us for mass
arrests, and we call for loud, colourful and creative acts of civil
disobedience encouraging the police to get their absurd act off the street.
We continue to consider January 22, 2005, as a mobilization
for protests taking place all over Switzerland during the WEF.
Anti-WEF Alliance, 1/17/05

(originally in German)
Translated from http://www.ainfos.org/fr/ainfos00419.html

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