Water cannons fired at Swiss protestors in Bern

SWITZERLAND

Several demonstrators tried to break through a barrier placed in front of the building and were pushed back, police say - There were moments of chaos around the station area as well

Water cannons fired at Swiss protestors in Bern
© KEYSTONE/Peter Schneider

Water cannons fired at Swiss protestors in Bern

© KEYSTONE/Peter Schneider

Water cannons fired at Swiss protestors in Bern

Water cannons fired at Swiss protestors in Bern

Police in Bern once again resorted to the use of water cannons and rubber bullets yesterday evening against the participants of a crown-skeptic demonstration. Thirteen people were arrested for investigation and around sixty were banned from entering the city. No casualties were reported.

Approximately 800 people participated in the demonstration. In spite of the absence of authorization, the police permitted a procession that started from the railway station and headed to the old city.

The opponents of the protective orders against Covid demonstrated in the streets, amidst the hustle and bustle of the evening sales in the stores, calling for «freedom». Many were carrying flowers as a sign of peaceful resistance. However, fireworks were set off and objects were thrown at the officers. The police in turn responded with rubber bullets.

At around 9 p.m., as the protesters began to make their way towards the Federal Palace, the officers also made use of water cannons. A number of protesters tried to break through a barrier placed in front of the building and were pushed back, police say. There were moments of chaos in the area around the station as well.

Thirteen people were taken to the police station for further investigation and seven of them were already known to law enforcement for similar events. Several checks were carried out on the protesters and about sixty were banned from entering the city. Officers also confiscated facial disguise material, knives and screwdrivers. The suspects are charged with disorderly conduct and threatening authorities.

The city of Bern announced Monday that it would no longer tolerate unauthorized demonstrations. The police could not prevent the protest procession because other people who were not involved in the demonstrations would have been endangered, Reto Nause, head of security, told the Keystone-ATS news agency. It was difficult for police to identify who was there to demonstrate and who was simply shopping, he said. «The large deployment of forces was unfortunately necessary,« he added, pointing out that there were also scuffles between opponents of the health restrictions and leftist autonomists.

©CdT.ch - Riproduzione riservata

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