About 2,000 anti-capitalist and anti-globalization protesters took to the streets in Swiss cities on Tuesday to demonstrate against President Donald Trump’s planned trip to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Reuters reports that about 20 protesters broke through a security cordon to reach the Davos Congress Center, holding banners and yelling “Wipe out WEF” before they were peacefully dispersed by police.
Leftist organizers have reportedly called for demonstrations under the slogans “Trump Not Welcome” and “Smash WEF!”
Trump is scheduled to speak Friday in Davos, where elite political and business leaders are meeting for the annual forum.
“Trump is just one of the other people we disagree with. We’ve been protesting every year now against the World Economic Forum and if Trump comes or not we don’t care. Trump is just, maybe he’s just the best symbol of this world,” protester Alex Hedinger told Reuters TV in Davos.
More than 4,000 Swiss soldiers and 1,000 police officers have been deployed to guard Davos, which also has no-fly zones in place.
Demonstrators carried flags and anti-globalist and environmentalist placards such as “No Trump, no coal, no gas, no fossil fuels” as they marched toward Zurich’s financial district.
Several hundred protesters also marched in public squares in Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg. Geneva signs read “World Economic Fiasco,” “racist sexist capitalist” and “Don’t touch women’s rights.”
Geneva demonstrator organizer Paolo Gilardi told Reuters TV: “While the Swiss Federal Council (Swiss cabinet) is about to welcome and unroll the red carpet for Mr. Trump, well we think that the population has something to say.”
Earlier in Geneva, protesters laid a wreath at the entrance of the U.S. diplomatic mission in memory of Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, amid clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters last August.
After Charlottesville, Trump said there were “very fine people” at the event demonstrating on both sides, which drew condemnation from some Republican leaders and praise from white supremacists and neo-Nazis.