Today was the international “Occupy your city” day, following the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. I was a bit skeptical when I heard there was going to be a protest in Zürich as well. Switzerland is not famous for protesting- the Swiss never go on strike! It was also a cold and grey day; the conditions were not ideal to sit outside. So I was surprised when I saw that all the hippies living in Zürich were actually blocking Paradeplatz (where the local banks and luxury shops are). The trams couldn’t go through there anymore and the traffic was disturbed.
Agencies from the two biggest banks of Switzerland- UBS and Crédit Suisse had been tagged and redecorated with slogans and tape.
People of all ages were sitting around, some playing board games, some singing, other drinking, a few jugglers, some holding banderoles and slogans. I felt a bit out of place with my shiny new red coat in the middle of all those hippies but the atmosphere was really friendly- people were smiling, no one was drunk nor violent.
Most of the messages you could read were a bit chaotic or meaningless. A few banners called for anarchy and communism:
I liked a few slogans, like those:
Clearly, these people wanted global change. However, nobody seemed to have a clue on how the change should happen. I don’t have a clue either but you don’t need to be an economist to feel that something is not right. I left the protest excited to see that the Swiss had gone out into the streets but frustrated to be left with a big interrogation mark instead of any possible solution.
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