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Zurich's May Day riots

by zoe Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 08:06:12 AM EST

This is my first diary so bear with me.

I posted a comment about May Day riots happening in my neighbourhood on well, May Day and mentionned that there had been no word of it on Swiss television.

Later that evening, there were brief stories about the May Day riots in very proper Zurich, but other people noticed a lack of coverage of this story as well.  Please see the following Daily Kos diary:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/5/3/0419/04720


That diary will lead you to the following story:

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/05/369511.html

Some of these pics are just around the corner from my apartment although I didn't see any of the burnt cars. So is the BMW dealership.

Also, I can finally see who the rioters were, as I could not approach because of the police cordon - pretty ordinary looking young people, presumably Swiss.  Disaffected youth or drunken partyers?  

I wonder why more wasn't made of this in the news - were there just too many riots going on in European cities that day or is this something that Zurich and the Swiss are ashamed of?

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I have a colleague who was listening to a band on the street, when all of a sudden it was tear gas and rubber bullets. He never quite figured out what was going on, but was pissed about the rubber bullets...there were lots of little kids there. I think it was likely anarchists...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 08:14:41 AM EST
Anarchists with rubber bullets? Or cops with rubber bullets?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 08:28:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rubber bullets?  I am glad I stayed at home that day.
by zoe on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 08:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd rather be hit accidentally by rubber bullets than be cowed by such measures.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 09:12:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but being the kind of person who takes an airplane and has the plane catch fire over the ocean, or the brakes fail on my car, or earthquakes when I am on vacation, I wisely chose to take the safe way out.
by zoe on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 09:28:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and yes, thanks for your first diary!! More to come, hopefully! (And any insights/opinions about Swiss politics will be gratefully received!) Welcome mmmm!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 09:39:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you keep me informed as to your future travel plans...?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 11:26:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, at least the Blick had some headlines about the riots yesterday. :-)

And welcome to ET mmmm, nice to see another Swiss commenting here.

by Fran on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 10:58:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, thank you very much for all your welcoming comments.

I am not Swiss however, Fran.  I just live and work here.  I don't think I'll ever get my tongue around Swiss German.  

by zoe on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 12:30:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cops with rubber bullets. My friend picked one up off the street and showed me...they are long and think, hexagon shaped. Very ugly...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 09:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was being snarky... ;)

Of course, some kinds of "anarchists" do create violent disturbances. But even they don't fling tear gas and rubber bullets around...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 09:48:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this diary and welcome to Eurotrib! Had it not been for European Tribune, I would have never even heard of this...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 08:50:37 AM EST
Looking at the photos, indeed anarchists (look at the flags). Reminds of a typical Chaos-Tage regularly staged by anarchists/Autonome in some German cities.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 09:15:47 AM EST
anarcho-syndicalism - Anarchopedia
Anarcho-syndicalist flag.
Anarcho-syndicalism is the anarchist wing of the labor union movement. Its primary aim is the end of the wage system.

The basic principles of anarcho-syndicalism are:

  1. workers' solidarity,
  2. direct action
  3. self-management.

...


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 09:27:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that makes me an anarcho-syndicalist.

Except that I believe that the Company/Employee/Wage/Labour relationship will be replaced by a revenue sharing "self-managing" partnership arrangement and that this will happen - not through riots in the streets - but because those enterprises that do not take this route will be at a disadvantage to those that do.

My "direct" action therefore constitutes working with people to set up such partnerships.

Which is bubbling under nicely in many places.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 11:32:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does Zurich have a square that looks exactly like Sergels torg in Stockholm? Otherwise the first picture (that also has worse quality then the rest) is from Stockholm not Zurich...

And the number of anarchist flags seen on the other pics are only one, so I would not rest a lot of conclusions on it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 10:20:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Commenter Heidi noted the same.

I'd say the black-clad guys also look like anarchists/Autonome of a certain sort.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 10:23:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zürich used to have a strong autonomist community (Rote Fabrik and co) and clash with the police were more violent during the '80s. Now, clash on May Day has a long tradition in Zürich, along with the day after Davos World Economic Forum (WEF), nothing very unsual, except that the SVP party (far right) wants to ban every 1st of Mai celebration.
by Hansvon on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 11:30:58 AM EST
Really?? And SVP wants to ban Muslem minarets from being built!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 11:40:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a sign of good things to come imho.

We had the ball rolling up that hill we're always trying to scale (think Seattle) and then 911 happened in America and the ball sorta rolled back over us and back down that hill.

Maybe what we're seeing as that the ball is rolling again!

Cautious optimism in order.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 11:39:39 AM EST
>Maybe what we're seeing as that the ball is rolling
> again!

I don't think you can draw any such conclusion from this. The Swiss May Day riots far pre-date all of that globalisation stuff and didn't stop after 9/11.

by Almanax on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 11:50:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Swiss SP also used the occasion of May 1st to make a statement that corporation chiefs need to be more respectful of the working people (and pay us better!!). I couldn't the article in English, but I agreed with them...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 11:43:16 AM EST
mmmm, thanks for this diary.
by Laurent GUERBY on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 04:01:07 PM EST
de nada.
by zoe on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 04:13:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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