“Switzerland is moaning in the parade wave!” Swiss SRF TV reported on the 12th that fighting climate change, fighting for gay rights, protecting animal rights, and demanding equality between men and women … In recent years, the number of demonstrations in large Swiss cities has increased significantly. Especially in the capital Bern, the number of demonstrations this year will exceed 300 for the first time.
The “Black Friday” that countless consumers expect should have been a lively “shopping day”, but the fact is that all major cities in Switzerland are marching on the day. In Bern, tens of thousands of people took part in demonstrations of climate change, followed by protests against “Black Friday” shopping discounts, followed by bicycle demonstrations advocating green transportation.
The latest data from the Bernese Police show that on the narrow streets of Bern, an average of 6 demonstrations are held every week. On some weekends, even four demonstrations took place simultaneously. In 2018, the total number of protests and demonstrations in Bern was 299 throughout the year, and this year has reached 280 by the end of October. It is expected that the number of demonstrations in Bern this year will exceed 300.
In big cities such as Zurich, Basel, and Geneva, the situation is the same as in Bern. Experts believe that the emergence of the “parade fever” is related to various crises in Europe in recent years, such as the widening gap between rich and poor and the rise of the far right. Second, organizing marches is now more convenient. Many organizations and individuals can launch a demonstration through social media such as Facebook. Sometimes parades are organized even for “small things”. In addition, people are increasingly convinced that demonstrations are more likely to put pressure on the government.
Faced with the “parade wave”, complaints from residents and tourists are rising. Many office workers told the Swiss media that most of these processions are at work or on weekends, which often lead to road blockades and diversions of public transport, which can be described as “difficult to do in the city centre.” They also worry that demonstrations could turn into violence. The merchants are anxious. Many large cities have had to close their stores on Saturday for the first time in decades. Because many consumers are reluctant to go out to shop in order to avoid demonstrations. Planosir, president of the Zurich Old Town Business Association, said the large number of demonstrations cost hundreds of thousands of Swiss francs to many shops in the city centre.
In response, the Swiss Daily Herald stated that most of the protests had no effect. Many march requirements can be resolved by other means.