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Anti-racism marches mobilise thousands across Switzerland

Black Lives Matter protests mobilised thousands of people across several Swiss cities on Saturday. In Bern, the capital, an unauthorised rally drew some 4,000 people, most of them wearing masks and black attire.

Another 10,000 marched In financial hub Zurich. Demonstrators there also donned black clothes and carried banners that read “white silence is violence.” Police initially tried to dissuade them from marching on account of public health restrictions in place to counter the coronavirus pandemic. The march could finally go through on condition that it stayed peaceful, which it did, according to a Keystone-SDA reporter at the scene.

In the northeastern city of  St. Gallen, more than a thousand people came together under the banner “Black Lives Matter”. Police there said the demonstration unfolded without incident. A similar gathering took place in Lucerne.

Switzerland has capped public gatherings at a maximum of 300 people due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the second weekend in a row that Swiss streets fill with people outraged by the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of police in the United States on May 26.

More than 10,000 people took part in an anti-racism rally held in Geneva on Tuesday, which was organised to coincide with Floyd’s funeral. The fatal incident in the United States has triggered soul-searching on questions of racism and police conduct at home and abroad.