On Saturday, June 13, over 10,000 demonstrators marched in Zürich against racism amid ongoing global demonstrations against racial inequality and police brutality, which were sparked by the police-related death of George Floyd in Minneapolis (Minnesota state) on May 25. Police reportedly stated that they would allow the unauthorised gathering, despite the current ban on gatherings of more than 300 people amid the ongoing coronavirus disease outbreak, as long as it remained peaceful. The main demonstration remained peaceful in nature, however, as the rally dispersed police clashed with a separate group of approximately 300 protesters gathered in a square in the city centre. The activists threw objects such as stones and bottles at the authorities. Police responded by firing pepper spray at the demonstrators. Several people were detained and at least one police officer sustained minor injuries in the scuffles.
Further demonstrations and associated disruptions are to be expected in the near term.
George Floyd died while being arrested by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. The four arresting police officers were subsequently fired, and one has since been charged with murder. Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters gathered on May 26 to denounce the death and actions of the police officers. Clashes ensued between protesters and riot police; with demonstrators throwing bricks and projectiles at police and police property, and police responding with tear gas and rubber bullets as they attempted to disperse the crowds. Associated protests over racial inequality, discrimination, and police brutality have since spread to a number of cities across the US and internationally.
Individuals in Zürich are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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