Davos 2018: ‘Dump Trump’, ‘Smash WEF’ Protests Organised Across Swiss Cities
Image Courtesy: Tasnim News Agency
As the world’s super-rich and powerful elites meet at the Alpine town of Davos for World Economic Forum (WEF), protest marches were organised across Swiss cities. Calling the WEF as a ‘capitalist bluff’, thousands demonstrated in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg.
At Davos Congress Center, where WEF is taking place, around 20 protesters broke the security cordon, holding posters against US President Donald Trump and calling for ‘wiping out WEF’. Demonstrations are strictly prohibited around the congress centre, which is under heavy security net guarded by soldiers and snipers.
According to reports, apart from 1,000 police officers and 4,000 Swiss soldiers, a no-fly zone is also in place over the Swiss town.
The Davos meeting is happening at the backdrop of increasing inequality and income gap across the globe. Critics argue the neoliberal agenda, which WEF aims to forward, itself is the base of the problem.
The aid group Oxfam issued in its annual report on social inequality noted that all global wealth growth in 2017 said that 82% of all growth in global wealth during the past year was cornered by the top 1%. The report exposes that the richest 42 people in the world hold as much as wealth as the 3.7 billion people who form the poorest half of the world's population
“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system. The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International.
In Zurich, protests organized by leftist movements marched with banners “Trump Not Welcome” and “Smash WEF!”
“Trump is just one of the other people we disagree with. We’ve been protesting every year now against the World Economic Forum and if Trump comes or not we don’t care. Trump is just, maybe he’s just the best symbol of this [WEF] world,” protester Alex Hedinger told Reuters TV in Davos.
Trump is expected to speak today at the Davos forum, which is funded by around 1,000 of the world’s biggest companies. Apart from Trump, many heads of states including India and the United Kingdom are in Davos for the forum.
In Geneva, anti-capitalist demonstrators held placards reading, “World Economic Fiasco,” “Racist sexist capitalist,” and “Don’t touch women’s rights.
“While the Swiss Federal Council (Swiss cabinet) is about to welcome and unroll the red carpet for Mister Trump, well we think that the population has something to say,” said Geneva protest organizer Paolo Gilardi.
“This policy is unacceptable because the goal... is to reduce the planet to fire and blood and to assure the powerful people’s domination over the rest of the world,” he added.
In Geneva, a wreath was laid at the entrance of the US diplomatic mission in the memory of American anti-racist protester Heather Heyer as white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters last August.
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