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Police, protesters clash ahead of WTO ministerial

The German news agency Deutsche Welle reports that, “An estimated 3,000 people …turned out for a peaceful march to air their grievances about an upcoming meeting of the World Trade Organization. They carried signs through the streets saying ‘Stop Capitalism, No WTO’, ‘WTO is enemy of the climate’ and ‘We will not sell our souls to the multinationals’.”

Council of Canadians vice-chair Leo Broderick and trade campaigner Stuart Trew participated in this march.

The news report highlights, “According to police spokesman Patrick Puhl, Saturday’s event took a turn for the worse when some 200 protestors …damaged parked vehicles, particularly luxury cars, with at least four being set on fire…”

“Swiss police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets…” Both Leo and Stuart were tear gassed while trying to march to the WTO headquarters.

“One young protester (said) he ‘understood people’s anger as the crisis had hit them very hard’ while an elderly woman said that global economic turmoil gave people ‘plenty to be angry about.'”

“Organizers (then) decided to call off the protests due to the violence and because they had been barred by police from marching to the WTO headquarters, the Swiss ATS news agency reported.”

“Next week’s WTO meeting of more than a hundred ministers will be the first in four years. It will also mark the 10th anniversary since the Seattle meeting…”

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