Police and demonstrators clash in Zurich

There were clashes in Zurich on Saturday afternoon after an authorised rally of anti-abortion activists was confronted by counter-demonstrators.

This content was published on September 17, 2011 minutes and agencies

The Swiss News Agency reported that the police stepped in with water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protestors who were trying to prevent the anti-abortionists marching towards the town centre.

There were further clashes when the marchers returned for the closing ceremony of their rally, an interdenominational service. As the service went ahead, between 100 and 200 protestors skirmished with police in nearby streets.

The "Pro-Life" demonstration had been called by 11 organisations, led by the Federal Democratic Union, and publicised on the internet.

The counter-demonstration was called by the Revolutionäres Bündnis Zürich (Zurich Revolutionary League), which accused the anti-abortionists of attacking the achievements of the women’s movement, and supporting an "arch-reactionary, patriarchal gender policy".

The police intervention was the second on the same day and in the same area of town. In the early hours of the morning police broke up a procession of party goers who had been attending an illegal gathering. No-one was injured and no damage was reported.

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