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Nazi gathering planned for Sunday

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10:22 CEST+02:00
An annual Nazi march scheduled to take place on Sunday is expected to attract double the numbers that attended last year.

The police are on high alert following rumours that some 300 right-wing extremists plan to gather on Sunday on the Rütli, the mountain meadow in canton Uri where the first oath of the independent Swiss Federation was thought to have been sworn.

Similar gatherings of sympathizers and members of the Nationally Oriented Swiss Party have occurred in the past few years, online news site 20 Minuten reported.

According to Bernese anti-fascists, the party is supported by the Hammerskins and the Neo-Nazi Blood and Honour groups, some of the country's most violent right-wing extremists.

The Federal Intelligence Service will be assisting the police on the day, who are ready to intervene should any trouble break out, including in the event of a breach of the anti-racism laws.

Police are expected to take a tough line against the marchers; 64-year-old man was recently sentenced under the anti-racism legislation for raising his right flattened hand at the party’s march in 2010.

The Young Socialist Party says it is furious that the demonstration is being allowed to proceed. They are frustrated that the police can only intervene in the event of a breach of the law, and have requested the Swiss Public Welfare Society (SGG), the body responsible for the upkeep of the meadow, to stop the march from going ahead.

The Young Socialists are now considering calling their own counter-demonstration on Sunday. They have also requested that the SGG themselves demonstrate, but this has been refused by the society’s leaders.

The SGG is more an organ of the federation than its own political body, and a political demonstration against the right-wing extremists could therefore be interpreted as being by the government itself.

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