Davos: Unauthorized demonstration on 29th January 2000

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The demonstrators mobilized by the anti-WTO organization and other groupings have not shown in Davos on Saturday that they can demonstrate in a peaceful manner. They even started to perform numerous disruptive acts and damage property ahead of the illegal demonstration. The two injured policemen are based in the cantons of St. Gallen and Grisons and have since been discharged from hospital. Two people were arrested and held by the police for a short while and released some time in the evening. The cost of damage to property is not known.
At around 3.00 p.m., approximately 1300 people, some masked, gathered near the Davos Dorf railway station and were held back. Once the crowd had gathered, the police tried to set up a visual barrier trying to limit the area of the action and give the demonstrators a space to move in. The police erected road blocks on the promenade as well as on the main road of the valley, to prevent the demonstrators reaching the conference building. At the beginning of the demonstration, police intentionally refrained from using heavy equipment so they could not to be accused of provocation. The intention of the police was to seek contact and speak with the demonstrators. This was categorically refused. The demonstrators very quickly set about carrying out their planned use of violence. Applying force and with aggressive behavior, one group broke through the block and pushed forward along the Davos promenade in the direction of the conference building. The operational units were successful in stopping the rioters at Schiabach and preventing them from progressing further in the direction of the conference building. The conference building was protected from the demonstrators and the work of the conference continued undisturbed.
The first acts of provocation and damage to property in the Davos district occurred at 8.45 a.m. Unknown persons threw bags containing dye at a car belonging to an Iranian delegation. This was followed by several similar incidents of damage. Several cars were also damaged and various windows broken. It is not possible at present to assess the total damage. At around midday, some of the demonstrators used three people- carriers to block the approach road to Davos in Saas in valley of Prättigau for half an hour, stopping the through traffic on the national highway. Several roads had to be temporarily closed in the village of Davos. Davos bus services also had to be stopped between the railway stations of Davos Dorf and Davos Platz between 2.30 and 7.45 p.m. The police confiscated a large amount of demonstration material such as masks etc. at road checkpoints on the two approach roads to Davos, Prättigau and Landwassertal.

Security measures extended
The police of the canton of Grisons took the threat of the anti WTO followers seriously. Police security arrangements were put into effect accordingly. The police did everything possible to prevent any offence being perpetrated while fully complying with the federal mandate according to which all suitable measures must be taken to prevent any attack on persons, in accordance with Article 29 of the Vienna Agreement relating to diplomatic relations in respect of parties for whose benefit civil protection rights exist. The police of the canton of Grisons was supported by units from various police authorities and the citadel watch corps as well as a unit from the Duchy of Liechtenstein.
Quelle: Kantonspolizei Graubünden
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