The Occupy movement’s Zurich offshoot had requested permission to remain camped out in the park. But city authorities denied the request and the police ordered the protesters to leave Lindenhof Park, in the centre of the old town, by Sunday night.
By Tuesday morning, around 100 demonstrators remained camped out in the park they took over on October 17th as part of worldwide protests inspired by the Spanish ‘indignados’ movement.
Dozens of police officers arrived at the Lindenhof at 8am and warned protesters they had 20 minutes to disperse. Most decided to pack their sleeping bags and leave the park, but about 30 resisted peacefully, chanting slogans. An unconfirmed number were arrested.
Despite the dismantlement of the camp-site, representatives of Zurich’s Occupy movement announced that their protest would not end with the evacuation. The group plans to reconvene on Tuesday night to decide on its next move.
The Occupy Zurich movement first appeared at Paradeplatz, the city’s financial centre and home to the headquarters of Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse. As with similar protests around the world, activists denounced a “rotten financial system” and called for “a new approach to economic cohabitation”.
The clearing of Lindenhof Park in Zurich on Tuesday coincides with a New York police operation to clear Occupy Wall Street demonstrators from the city’s Zuccotti Park.
New York authorities said they just wanted to clean the area, and that protesters will be allowed to return to the protest site near Wall Street. However, they will not be permitted to bring tents and sleeping bags.