Translators’ Note: On February 9th, 2014, following an initiative of the far-right populist party SVP/UDC (Swiss People’s Party/Democratic Union of the Centre, the largest party in Switzerland’s federal parliament), a referendum was held “for or against mass immigration”. The majority of citizens who went to the polls voted in favor of the xenophobic SVP/UDC proposal. As the results were being announced, spontaneous anti-racist demonstrations took place in different Swiss cities. In Zurich, people took to the streets carrying a banner which read “Against racism and repression – international solidarity!” Below is a reportback from that protest.
In the evening of February 9th, 2014 some 1,600 people demonstrated for international solidarity in Zurich. This was in response to the adoption of the racist SVP initiative.
Between 7.30 and 8pm, participants of the spontaneous demo gathered at Helvetia square and then marched through Langstrasse and Lagerstrasse towards the city centre. At the Gessner Bridge the police used water cannon to prevent the demo from moving further downtown. As a result, the demonstration continued through the district 4. At the same time, several storefronts were damaged and police vehicles attacked. At about 9.30pm we ended the demo in Helvetia square in self-determination.
We thus brought our rage on the streets.
Our rage over a further tightening of Switzerland’s migration regime.
Our rage over the condensed right-wing populism that has instrumentalized foreign infiltration fears and fueled xenophobia.
Our rage over an attempt of class separation hidden in racism.
Our rage over a capitalist system.
Our solidarity goes out to all people who are forced to migrate by the capitalist system; no matter where from, no matter where to.
As long as this economy deprives people of their means of existence all over the world, we will continue to protest against capitalism and for the right of residence; everywhere.
Whether peaceful or militant, resistance is what matters.