Climate strikes restart after Covid-19 outbreak

Young people at a climate strike in Basel on September 4 Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

Climate strikes are being held in 18 Swiss towns and cities on Friday – the first since the coronavirus pandemic broke out. 

This content was published on September 4, 2020 - 16:23

Around 800 mostly young people took part in a demonstration in Lausanne, news agencies reported. Some 600 and 500 people gathered in Bern and Basel respectively.

People “had a justified interest in having a habitable planet for the future”, organisers said in a statement ahead of the protests. Politicians were not listening, they said. “We’re being ridiculed and abused by the political right and used and lied to by the left.”

This is why they have decided to hold peaceful demonstrations from now until the end of September. Several organisations – Collective Climate Justice, Extinction Rebellion, Climatestreik and Collectif Break Free – are working together for the first time. 

Strikes will be held in Bern, Fribourg, Zurich, Uster, Davos, Lucerne, Lausanne, St Gallen, Interlaken, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Delémont, Schaffhausen, Altdorf, Basel, Olten, Biel and Winterthur.

Previous strikes  

Once a regular feature on Fridays, the most recent national climate strike was planned for, but not carried out, on May 15. At that point there were curbs on large public gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

More than 10,000 people from all over Switzerland joined an anniversary climate strike on January 17, which was attended by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. This demonstration was held to mark the one-year anniversary of the climate strike movement inspired by Thunberg.  

Private and public events of up to 1,000 people have been allowed in Switzerland since June 22, as long as contact tracing can be guaranteed. Everybody has to wear a face mask. 

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