October 16, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Extinction Rebellion activists have shut down central Zurich

An hour later, police ordered roadside activists to withdraw to designated areas and give way to trams.

Some 300 Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists, disguised as clowns, attempted to block central Zurich on Monday in a bid to force the Swiss government to comply with the environmental movement’s climate movement demands.

They blocked the traffic

According to AFP, the XR movement has called on its supporters to return every noon and block traffic at three key strategic points in Switzerland’s financial capital – including the bridge and the intersection of the main shopping artery at Uraniastrasse.

An hour later, police ordered roadside activists to withdraw to designated areas and give way to trams. Some of those who disobeyed were taken by the police from the road to the sidewalk. Other protesters gradually dispersed, including many students and retirees on folding picnic chairs.

The Swiss media noticed a large group of people from speech areas among the demonstrators, so it may happen that they did not understand the Zurich police’s instructions for the language barrier.

“If they shoot us, we’ll be back.”

In June, the XR movement directed a package of demands to the Federal Council, including in particular a request to declare a climate emergency. After the government did not comply with their request, activists announced their intention to paralyze traffic in downtown Zurich on Monday 4 October.

Extinction Rebellion indicated last week that its activists were ready to be arrested by the police in Zurich. They warned that “if they shoot us, we will return.”

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