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Davos: The authorized demonstration did not take place

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The demonstration authorized in Davos for Sunday did not take place. At Davos Dorf, at 3 p.m., a single person took this opportunity of the freedom of speech by displaying his banner reading “We need help for Chechnya”. No other demonstrators were to be seen. No problems worth mentioning were encountered by the security forces around Davos during the night.

Postscript to the unauthorized demonstration on Saturday

The cantonal police headquarters regard the results of the police action against the demonstrators as very good. The aim of preventing any interruption to the conference proceedings and at the same time allowing VIP’s to pass unhindered was achieved. Serious damage to property has also been prevented.
The militant demonstrators came mainly from France, Italy and from the area of Zurich and Berne; Turkish demonstrators were also present.
During the first phase of the disturbance, the police intentionally did not use defense equipment such as irritants, rubber pellets or batons, to prevent provocation. 200 to 300 bystanders, who just wanted to see and hear what was going on, would have suffered badly.
The first visual loose police block at the Davos Dorf railway station was disregarded and overrun by the demonstrators. The result was that the forces engaged there were withdrawn and a second block was hastily set up at Panorama/Dischmastrasse to gain time and to set up a strong block at the Schiabach . This second block was also overrun in a militant and aggressive manner.
In the end, the protest march was unable to pass through the third block at the Schiabach, neither along the promenade nor at main road of the valley. The police were ready to put heavy equipment into use should the demonstrators try and break through at that point; approval was given to use water cannons and rubber pellets there.
The protest marchers were successfully delayed thanks to the use of dispersing vehicles, and finally stopped at the Schiabach. At the Schiabach, the police used rubber pellets twice and pepper spray once.
The demonstrators used tear gas and threw various objects at the police. Only a few dangerous weapons were confiscated in Davos thanks to numerous road checks on the approach roads where various offensive material and dangerous objects were removed.
At Grüenbödeli, a bus from France was stopped and prevented from proceeding further. However, the French demonstrators could not be stopped from reaching Davos. They continued their way to Davos on foot. They walked from Grüenbödeli through Wolfgang to Davos Dorf, rioting along the way; they annoyed passers-by and apparently also damaged a few cars.
No full estimates of the damage done to property are as yet available. From what is known at present, the damage exceeds CHF 100,000 - this is mainly damage to vehicles, house frontages and one building (McDonald’s).
In addition, the police equipment suffered damage to the total value of CHF 8,000. There were reports of six specific offenses. A rubber pellet gun which disappeared is now back in police hands.
Isolated rioting and scuffles between demonstrators and innocent passers-by erupted at various times. In once instance, demonstrators burst into a restaurant and attacked the guests.
Iranian activists attacked the Iranian deputy minister for foreign affairs on two occasions with bags containing dye. On one occasion, it was only the car which was hit and on the second he was also hit.
The air space restrictions were ignored by several hang-gliders. They were reported to the Swiss Federal Ministry of Civil Aviation.
A total of approx. 250 people were stopped and checked during the last three days. Those identified and identifiable as having committed a breach of the peace and participating in an unauthorized demonstration will be charged. Those causing personal injury will also be prosecuted.
The two people arrested on Saturday evening were released in Lanquart. They will be prosecuted for threats and violence against the police.
Source: Police of the canton of Grisons
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