Demonstrations and processions denouncing police violence and racism took place in several Swiss cities on Saturday, including a 5,000-strong gathering in Basel.
Demonstrators in the northwest city carried posters bearing slogans such as “Black lives matter” and “White silence = violence”, the Keystone-SDA news agency reported.
The protest, triggered by the death of George Floyd in the US city of Minneapolis last week, was not authorised, but police allowed it to proceed in any case, and it went off peacefully.
Officers distributed flyers outlining guidelines regarding current anti-coronavirus measures, while participants distributed thousands of protective masks among themselves.
Other Swiss cities that saw demonstrations on Saturday included Neuchâtel, where 500 people marched in two separate groups in order to respect current Covid-19 regulations that restrict such events to a max of 300.
Several dozen gathered in front of the train station in Bern, while in Zurich – where a large demonstration also happened earlier this week – around 1,000 took part in an unauthorised march.
As of Saturday June 6, events and demonstrations – including political protests – of up to 300 people are again possible in Switzerland, provided the participants can come up with a “protection concept” and designate a responsible person to engage with authorities.
The question of public demonstrations and police reaction during the Covid-19 shutdown in Switzerland has been debated over the past weeks as unauthorised groups have regularly gathered to protest the lockdown measures.
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