Fresh climate protest in Bern

Climate protestors in Bern Keystone / Anthony Anex

More than 2,000 people have held a climate demonstration in the Swiss capital Bern, just days after police broke up a climate protest by activists in front of the Swiss parliament building.

This content was published on September 25, 2020 - 19:56

Demonstrators gathering in the city centre called for urgent action on climate change. At first, news agencies reported 1,000 attendees, this was rounded up to more than 2,000 by Friday evening.

The group Rise Up for Change was behind the action. It had also called the protest earlier in the week.

Security forces eventually moved in on an illegal camp set up by the protestors on a square outside the Swiss parliament building in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Protestors had been there for 48 hours and had ignored several ultimatums by the authorities to leave Parliament Square and set up their tents elsewhere in the city.

About 100 people were held for questioning during the operation, which was carried out calmly and peacefully, according to a police spokesman.

However, the demonstrators criticised the city government for allegedly refusing to acknowledge a “necessary and legitimate protest”. 

Political rallies are banned on the square while the Swiss parliament is in session. A majority of the parliamentarians on Monday demanded police put an end to the protest.

The Friday protest was held as other climate demonstrations took place around the world. According to Fridays for Future, there were more than 3,000 climate strikes planned.

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