DAVOS, Switzerland – Hundreds of disgruntled protesters against the elite World Economic Forum are heading to their annual rally in Davos amid snowfall, as officials with US President Donald Trump and other dignitaries on Monday detailed additional security measures such as vehicle checks and webcam closures. Arrive.
Zurich regional police said about 130 participants who were “protected under international law” – including the royal family, the president and the prime minister – were expected to attend the rally in Davos from Tuesday to Friday. All told, about 3,000 leaders from civil society, business, politics and other places in 118 countries are expected to mark the 50th anniversary of the forum.
Protesters with the “Strike-WEF” group, who began marching on Davos on Sunday, issued a security measure: a regional police order that no more than 300 people could take part in a planned protest near the town hall. Authorities insisted the square was too small to hold many people. They call such restrictions anti-democratic.
“While they can accommodate 3,000 people – who are the richest people on the planet – but only 300 of the remaining 99% of us, it’s a joke,” said Payal Parekh, a spokesman for the group. . Members of the group and its supporters – some dressed as Ronald McDonald’s get-up – were heading for Davos but were blocked off the main road.
“There are ways to get to Davos,” he said. “We are creative and flexible.”
Rosalina Mueller, a spokeswoman for the Young Socialists who helped organize the protests in Davos, praised the idea of leaders coming together, but said they had failed to help the world in the last half-century.
“They say they want to make the world a better place, but for 50 years they have done nothing,” he said. The organizers of the forum point to a number of initiatives, such as planting trees, listing businesses in advocacy programs, and bringing together thousands of promising young people to help their communities around the world.
Swiss national authorities were limiting airspace and allowed 5,000 troops to take part in increased security. Authorities and forum organizers have allocated 9 million for additional security during the event.
Zurich authorities are stepping up security checks on people and vehicles and advising visitors at Zurich airport to use public transport for Trump’s expected arrival on Tuesday.
Jamie Keaten, The Associated Press