An anti-abortion demonstration in Zurich has been disrupted by participants in a counter-demonstration. Police officers were attacked and containers burned.
Two police officers were slightly injured as a result of projectiles being thrown, according to Zurich City police on Saturday. Some 175 people were briefly held by police and one was arrested for violence and threatening the authorities.
Participants in the authorised “March for Life” demonstration gathered at around 2pm on Turbinenplatz. At around 3pm, more than 1,000 people formed a procession.
A little further on, several hundred people gathered shortly before 2pm in a park to start an unauthorised counter-demonstration. The police went to the site with mediation teams.
Participants in the counter-demonstration were informed that they could not form a procession but that a rally in the park would be tolerated. Nevertheless, shortly after 2:45pm several people walked to Turbinenplatz. Some of them pushed prams containing things to throw.
Bottles and stones
In order to avoid a confrontation between pro- and anti-abortion demonstrators, the police fired rubber bullets and irritants at the unauthorised procession. In return, the police officers faced a volley of bottles, stones and other projectiles. Several small groups also tried to cross police roadblocks.
At the same time, people set fire to containers in several places and blocked streets with construction material. Some of the firefighters who came to extinguish the flames were attacked and injured.
The police temporarily stopped the March for Life for security reasons. However, the procession was able to resume at around 3:45pm and continue on a shortened route.