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Swiss Authorities Discourage Protestors

Swiss Authorities Do Their Best To Discourage Protestors On The Way To DAVOS - J27

Swiss police are turning away protestors heading for Davos in the alps to protest against the WEF who naturally don't care to be disturbed by annoying citizens exercising their democratic rights whilst they sip their champagne and enjoy their skiing holiday.

A bus from Dijon full of activists (who probably swore they were just going on a skiing holiday) was turned back after detaining some activists for up to 4 hours. They did a thorough job of photocopying everyone's passport and taking happy snapshots. They are obviously building up the black list for future reference.

In fact Swiss authorities announced that they have a black list of 300 'undesirables' (i.e. protestors blacklisted from Prague etc)who are most definitely prohibited from going on a skiing holiday.

Ditto the Indymedia crew - who made it across the border - but didn't make it up the mountain to Davos. So much for freedom of the press...

The protest on the 27th has been banned despite appeals by protest organisers to the courts. Supposedly Davos is too small for 1000s of protestors. Yet of course it is big enough for thousands of delegates. The army has been called in to make sure the discussions about topics like "should governments be more courageous about eliminating the rigidities of the labour market?" all run smoothly.

There have been reports of strip searches, sequestering of video material, phone numbers, attempts to make activists sign declarations saying "I am a violent protestor" or words to that effect.

Never the less political groups from all over Europe are being urged to not give up and to try to cross the border. A bus load from Rome is leaving tomorrow. We are expecting a police escort - though I'm not sure 'escort' is the right word.

Chloe Heffernan

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