• Switzerland's news in English

Zurich riot police tackle vandals wreaking havoc

The Local/AFP · 13 Dec 2014, 14:55

Published: 13 Dec 2014 12:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Dec 2014 14:55 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Police fired tear gas and water cannon in central Zurich late Friday to disperse the group who attacked officers and set cars, trees and trash bins on fire, sending terrified residents fleeing in the upscale and normally tranquil neighbourhoods.

The rioters, many of them armed with iron bars, threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police in a rampage that left hundreds of thousands of euros worth of damage and that police said was claimed by left-wing radicals.

Police also described the group as "extremely violent anarchists". 

The marauders gathered outside the Wiedikon train station in Zurich's district 3 around 10pm, hurling stones at police officers, setting a police vehicle on fire and stealing law enforcement equipment before reinforcements arrived, city police said in a statement.

Trees, cars and trash bins on the streets were set ablaze by the hooligans, who also shattered storefronts and the window of a crowded restaurant, sending terrified diners fleeing to the basement and the back of the eatery.

"We don't want to leave our city to freeholders, to money, to capitalists or public-private-partnership-nations or any other oppressing authorities," the activists wrote on the website Indymedia. 
"We want a city which is allowed to live, be loud, chaotic and exciting."
The group moved from Wiedikon to Aussersihl (District 4) where they left a trail of destruction and graffiti along the Langstrasse and other streets. 
The words "all cops are bastards" were sprayed in English on the storefront of one business, the Tages Anzeiger newspaper reported.
Story continues below…

Seven officers, including a policewoman, were injured and sent to hospital as a result of the unrest before police managed to restore order around midnight.

"Many of them were armed with iron bars, some wore masks and gas masks and protective clothing," the police said in a statement.

Four men — two Swiss, and nationals of Britain and Liechtenstein — have been arrested on suspicion of participating in the unrest.

Zurich, Switzerland's largest city, is a major financial hub hosting numerous banking giants and is one of Europe's wealthiest cities.

* Photos used with permission of Aurka.com 

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available