"Eat The Rich": Davos Beefs Up Security As Protesters Gather

Organizers of the 50th World Economic Forum in Davos have beefed up security after hundreds of climate protesters made their way though snow-covered streets towards the annual gathering of roughly 3,000 global elites and their high-level minions.

According to AP, measures included extra vehicle checks and 'webcam shutdowns,' while the Swiss national authorities have restricted the airspace above the event.

Up to 5,000 troops, fighter jets, ground defense systems and additional radar have also been authorized as part of the enhanced security, as authorities and organizers work from a $9 million budget just for the extra security.

"Various people in the world are under great threat if you can put it that way, and wherever they appear, they deserve commensurate security measures," said Walter Schlegel, the regional police commander (via DevDiscourse), adding "The U.S. president has a big security detail that must be deployed."

Some activists were forced to reach the event via hiking trails after authorities banned foot traffic on the road between Davos and nearby Klosters.

Protesters with the “Strike-WEF” collective, who began marching toward Davos on Sunday, have taken issue with one security measure: An order from regional police that no more than 300 people can attend a planned protest near the town hall. Authorities insist the square is too small to hold more people. They call such limits anti-democratic.

“When they can have space for 3,000 people - the majority of who are the richest people on the planet - but for only 300 among the 99% of the rest of us, it’s a joke,” said Payal Parekh, a spokeswoman for the collective. Members of the group and its supporters - some dressed in get-ups like Ronald McDonald outfits - were marching toward Davos but have been barred from the main roads to get there. -AP via WaPo

The protesters, organizing under the hashtags #WorldEconomicFailure and #StrikeWEF, hiked roughly 30 miles from Landquart to Davos.

"They say they want to make the world better, but for 50 years they haven’t done anything," said Rosalina Mueller, a spokeswoman for the Young Socialists which helped organize the demonstration.

 

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