Hundreds demonstrate against skinheads

Mayor Rüdi Amrein called for the skinheads' rental contract to be scrapped Keystone

About 400 people have gathered in Malters, canton Lucerne, to protest against recent meetings by neo-Nazis in the town of 6,000 inhabitants.

This content was published on September 2, 2000 - 23:54

The crowd assembled in front of the town hall, and signed a petition against the skinheads, in a demonstration which had been called for last weekend, but which was postponed for security reasons.

Malters came under the media spotlight in the wake of a series of gatherings held there by skinheads from French- and German-speaking Switzerland, and Germany.

They held their meetings in a building rented from a former Lucerne parliamentarian and businessman, the Radical Party's Joseph Albisser.

In order to stop the extremist gatherings from taking place, the local authorities tried to close down the site. But, Albisser has refused to cancel the rental contract, thereby allowing the neo-Nazis to continue using the space until a court rules on the subject.

During Saturday's protest, the mayor of Malters, Rüdi Amrein, repeated a call to Albisser - who was also at the demonstration - to scrap the contract with the skinheads.

Albisser, however, refused to give in, saying the media should not rush to the wrong conclusions. He said he was a liberal not an extremist.

The protest ended with an appeal by Amrein for people to vote no later this month to an initiative on limiting the number of foreigners in Switzerland to 18 per cent.

swissinfo with agencies

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In compliance with the JTI standards

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