WEF demos: police demand more cash to control protests

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The imminent arrival of United States President Donald Trump in Davos has led to fears of increased demonstrations against the World Economic Forum. Swiss police are therefore demanding greater funding to cope with the protesters.

A protest of well over 1,000 people in the Swiss capital, Bern, on Saturday passed peacefully, but was notable for banners sporting aggressive messages, such as “Kill Trump With His Own Weapons!”. Several other demonstrations are planned in the next days, swelled by anti-Trump protesters.

"The government must look into the question of sharing the cost [of policing demonstrations],” Reto Nause, head of police at Bern city, told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper. “The same logic of how to spread the security costs in Davos must also apply to cities such as Bern and Zurich.”

WEF takes place between January 23-26 in the ski resport of Davos this year. Security costs of CHF9 million ($9.3 million) are spilt between the confederation, canton Graubünden, the town of Davos and WEF.

Hans-Jürg Käser, president of the cantonal committee of police directors, told the newspaper: "The risk exists that there will be more demonstrations in Bern and Zurich during WEF. At the same time we can expect more demonstrators than usual. This will presumably result in an increased police presence and higher security costs.”

But a WEF spokesperson denied that Trump’s arrival will raise the security bill.

swissinfo.ch/mga with agencies


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