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INDYMEDIA: Davos Chaos Coverage

INDYMEDIA: Davos Chaos Coverage

The following are a series of reports filed on the Davos Indymedia site. See…

Condemnation of Swiss Police Pour in from Major Media, Civil Society

by Bill Vaughan 4:59pm Sun Jan 28 '01

Outrage and condemnation at Swiss government officials and "robocops" from Swiss major media as well as from civil society and victimized Swiss citizens, is growing by the minute. It was also disclosed that police had plans to use liquid manure against the protesters. In a rare departure from the Swiss major media's normally agreeable stance towards state authorities, harsh crisicism of the militaristic and excessively violent tactics being used by Swiss "robocops" ostensibly to insure the smooth running of the WEF meeting in Davos is being expressed by most of the major media throughout Switzerland. The repressive policies instituted by the government to squelch potential public protests and the outrageous police behaviour of the last few days has been described as "unprecidented," "disproportionate compared to the threat from the protesters," and has created spectacles of a "dictatorship." The "War games" carried out by Swiss authorities "will have consequences," warns a popular national daily journal (a Swiss equivelant of the USA Today daily).

Many NGOs, parliament ministers, and regular Swiss citizens are angrily denouncing the police violence and over-reaction, and intolerable violations of Swiss civil rights laws by the government and police. At a press conference organized by the IMC in Davos on Friday evening, a lawyer described to the press many of the human rights violations that were taking place in Davos and elswhere in Switzerland. Several of the NGOs who had been officially invited into the WEF are now considering withdrawing in protest. Large numbers of regular Swiss citizens who were not involved with any protests found themselves caught in the middle of many of the police attacks, and many Swiss people who were simply tring to exercise their right of free travel, trying to go skiing, etc., are outraged by the victimization they recived from Swiss police at police checkpoints, or near police actions against protesters, including many bystanders who were gassed or shot with rubber bullets last night in Zurich. Even official WEF participants were blocked by police from getting to the forum in Davos

Many people were shocked to learn that the police were planning to use liquid manure on protesters. In fact, the police were unable to obtain the substance - which could be classified as biological warfare material posing severe health hazards - because Swiss farmers would not give any to the police and criticezed the idea of using manure on protesters as crazy.

Water Cannons Spraying, Tear Gas flying, Truncheons Swinging, Thousands Rebel!

by Bill Vaughan 2:18pm Sat Jan 27 '01

Latest reports as of 2pm: 400 protesters now on the streets in Davos, police using water cannons, Public Eye Conference participants joining protest. The village of Landquart is complety gridlocked, thousands of protesters who arrived by buses, train, cars, etc., attacked and tear-gassed... highways being blocked... Out of nowhere, people who looked like tourists, skiers, etc., are joining the potest in the streets of Davos. Hundreds who had managed to breach police barricades and advanced towards the Congress Center were sprayed with water cannons.

In Landquart, 40 km from Davos, several hundred or more than a thousand protesters, including 6 bus loads of labor union members and parliament members, who were blocked from going to Davos, have just blocked the main highway to Davos. Earlier, they were earlier gassed and attacked by police. All traffic in and around Landquart is completely griddlocked and locals and regular travelers caught in the middle are getting angry at police aggressiveness. All train traffic is jammed in the area as well, including possibly special trains carrying WEF participants.

Activists traveling from Geneva are currently blocking main highway between Zurich and Davos.

Mobile Phone Service in the region has been cut off.

Report on arrests

About 30 protesters are still in jail at the Kaserne Police Station in central Zurich near the central train station. At least 70 people, including 6 peole with the Radikal Rave Sound Truck, which was confiscated by police, were arrested Saturday in Zurich. Most of the arrests occured when police stopped a tram which protesters were traveling in to leave the protest area. Police stopped the tram at the Enge station and proceded to arrest people who were assumed to be protesters one by one and held them in plastic hand cuffs for over an hour. Many were complaining that the cuffs were too tight, but the police didn't show much interest in hearing the complaints.

About 100 people went to march to the jail in solidarity.

Severe Injuries From Last Night,s Police Attack in Zurich

by Bill Vaughan 6:50pm Sun Jan 28 '01

At least 4 people are hospitalized and many more sustained serious injuries by the police in Zurich Saturday night, mainly from rubber bullets. Here's some of the reports of injuries from Saturdays police actions in Zurich.

- 1 male who was just a bystander was hospitalized with a severe eye injury

- 1 male hospitalized with a concussion and swollen eye

- 1 male hospitalized with a severe cut in a leg artery, lost a lot of blood

- 1 male with minor cut on back, inflicted when a cop forcely cut off plastic handcuffs after the victim had been complaining for 1 hour that the cuffs were too tight

- 1 male sustained cuts on face after rubber bullet shattered his glasses

- 1 male cut around cheek from rubber bullet

- 1 male hospitalized after being beaten by police with baton


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