Davos approves anti-Trump protest during WEF meeting

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Davos approves anti-Trump protest during WEF meeting
An anti-Trump rally was staged in Zurich in January 2018. Photo: AFP

Authorities in the Swiss town of Davos have given the youth wing of Switzerland's Socialist Party permission to stage an anti-capitalist protest during US President Donald Trump's attendance at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting later this month.


Giving its reasons, the local government in the Alpine resort said it was important that people could exercise their right to protest and express their opinion, even during the WEF annual meeting, which is taking place from January 22nd to January 25th.

But the decision represents a change of heart on the part of local authorities. Last year, a similar request by the Young Socialists to protest in the town during Trump’s controversial first WEF visit was turned down with city hall city saying there was "too much snow".

The Young Socialists then went ahead and held a demonstration in Zurich instead. The protesters marched through Switzerland's largest city chanting "Trump not welcome", with some carrying banners and placards reading "dump the Trump" and "Switzerland is hosting Nazis”.

This year, however, the Young Socialists will be able to make their voices heard far closer to the action at the annual WEF meeting which sees the world’s business and political elites descend on Davos in Switzerland’s southeast.

The demonstration has been authorized for Thursday January 24th from 3pm to 6pm.

No other groups have applied to stage a protest, Davos authorities said on Wednesday.

The Young Socialists welcomed the decision by the town.

"We need a critical platform against the meeting of the richest and most powerful," said the group's Vice President, Lewin Lempert, in a statement

"A climate catastrophe is rushing towards us, but the world's most powerful refuse to take action. The need for political action is urgent," he added.

Donald Trump is set to attend the 2019 WEF annual meeting with his daughter and adviser Ivanka, while other members of the US delegation include Jared Kushner, Trump's adviser and son-in-law, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

During his visit, Trump will meet with Swiss finance minister Ueli Maurer with a possible Swiss–US free trade agreement among the topics up for discussion.

The annual WEF meeting sees Davos in virtual lockdown with security costs totalling around 8 million Swiss francs (€7.12 million). 

Read also: Donald Trump sends personal thank you note to Swiss police chief


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