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Swiss police press charges against anti-Davos protesters

By Reuters
Sunday, January 22, 2012 7:36 EDT
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ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss police will charge more than 100 demonstrators with breaching the peace after they rallied in Bern Saturday to protest against the World Economic Forum that holds its annual meeting in Davos this week.

The protesters, some wearing masks, began an unauthorized demonstration but were stopped by police in Bern, 270 km (170 miles) west of the Davos ski resort, where the global elite will gather for the forum which opens Wednesday.

Some protesters threw fire crackers and missiles at police but caused no material damage, police said in a statement.

Swiss police Wednesday arrested two men suspected of throwing red paint and scrawling “Smash WEF” in black graffiti on the walls of the Swiss National Bank in Zurich.

Anger against income inequality and the perceived greed of the rich and powerful has fed the Occupy Wall Street Movement that spurned copy-cat protests in cities in the United States and elsewhere, including Zurich.

Occupy protesters are building an igloo camp in Davos, but few demonstrations are likely at the ski resort given stringent security measures, including exclusion zones around the main congress center and air patrols by armed fighter jets.

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Sophie Hares)

[Flickr image uploaded by floheinstein.]

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