Protests against COVID-19 curbs, counter-demos in Zurich

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GENEVA, Switzerland — Hundreds of protesters marched in Switzerland’s largest city Saturday to protest COVID-19 restrictions, while several thousand others rallied against the demonstrators, calling them “Nazis”, Swiss media reported.اضافة اعلان

Video footage showed Zurich police were out in force against the two demonstrations, both illegal, using tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowds and making arrests.

The demonstration against Switzerland’s COVID-19 measures, which are in the process of being lifted, had been expected to start at the train station in the early afternoon, prompting a large group of counter-demonstrators to gather nearby.

In the end, the anti-COVID-19 crowd kicked off its demonstration in an another part of the city, but that did not stop the leftwing counter-demonstrators from marching and chanting their slogan: “Keep Zurich Nazi-free.”

Police could not immediately provide a tally for how many took part, but the ATS news agency estimated several thousand people gathered for the counter-demonstration.

They marched through the city by various routes, disrupting traffic and clashing with police.

“Some participants in the unauthorized demonstration tried to break through the police barriers. That is why the water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas were used,” the Zurich city police tweeted.

At the same time, police said they had detained a large group of rightwing extremists “prepared to use violence” in Zurich’s Old Town.

Police also stopped a crowd of protesters against COVID-19 measures downtown, took down their information and asked them to halt their demonstration.

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