Young Socialists receive green light for anti-WEF demo

In 2018, around 1,000 anti-WEF and Trump protesters took part in demonstrations in various Swiss cities. Left-wing organisers put the figure much higher, at 4,500. Keystone

Davos officials have given the Swiss Young Socialists (Juso) the go-ahead to organise a public demonstration on January 24 against the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in the Swiss resort. Local authorities had banned all protests at last year’s WEF event.

This content was published on January 9, 2019 - 15:18

The Davos authorities announced on Wednesday that the political group can hold an official demonstration against the WEF in the area between the town hall square and the Bubenbrunnenplatz on Thursday, January 24, between 3pm and 6pm.

It was approved but with several conditions, including the type of rally, the security service, and the information and publicity material.

According to Keystone-SDA, the Davos local authorities said in a statement that allowing demonstrations was an important part of exercising freedom of expression during the WEF annual meeting. The Davos authorities said it had not received any other requests for public demonstrations during the WEF, which takes place from January 22-25 in the resort in eastern Switzerland.

The group of young left-wing activists made a similar request last year, but they were turned down by the authorities, who argued that the huge snowfall at the time would complicate the organisation of a protest. The ban was heavily criticised by Juso.

History of demonstrations

The elite gathering in the Alpine resort has a long history of attracting both violent and non-violent protests. Last year, President Trump’s participation at Davos, the first time for a US President since Bill Clinton, ignited numerous protests in Davos as well as in other Swiss cities.

According to police, around 1,000 anti-WEF and Trump protesters took part in demonstrations in various Swiss cities in 2018. Left-wing organisers put the figure much higher, at 4,500.

broke through security to reach the Davos Congress Centre, holding banners and shouting "Wipe out WEF" before they were peacefully disbanded by police.

For the 2018 meeting, security costs rose to CHF9 million ($9.3 million), which were spilt between the federal government, canton Graubünden, the town of Davos and WEF.

President Trump recently announced that he would attend the WEF again this year along with a dozen-strong US delegation.

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