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Anti-racism protesters take to streets of Zurich

Anti-racism street protest in Zurich
The anti-racism demonstrators in Zurich did not respect the social distancing rules. Keystone/Alexandra Wey

Hundreds of people in Switzerland’s biggest city have protested against the death of an African-American man in police custody in the United States.

The demonstration in Zurich on Monday came despite a ban on major public rallies and follows a wave of sometimes violent protests in North America, Europe, New Zealand and Iran.

The protesters carried banners saying Black Lives Matter, Silence is Violence or Stop Police Brutality referring to the death of a 46-year old George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in the city of Minneapolis a week ago.

Observers estimate up to 2,000 people took part in the protest in Zurich, while police put the figure at “several hundred”, according to the Keystone-SDA news agency.

The march through the city passed off peacefully with police standing by and calling on participants to leave, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper reported. 

The number of protesters clearly exceeded the limit of 300 people set by the government since last Saturday to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rallies in Geneva and Bern

About 400 people gathered for a vigil in a public park in the Swiss capital, Bern on Monday, but police did not intervene according to local media. 

However, a protest with about 30 participants in the city of Geneva on Monday was broken up by security forces, according to Keystone-SDA.

Police have been criticised for interfering heavy-handedly during anti-government protests in several Swiss cities over the past few weeks.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR