Ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's arrival at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, thousands of anti-Trump protesters took to the streets across Switzerland, decrying racism, sexism, capitalism, and dirty energy practices.
"We are protesting against both Trump and the WEF," Young Socialists of Switzerland president Tamara Funiciello told The Local, denouncing the U.S. president as well as the meeting that brings together businessmen and world leaders from across the globe.
"The discussions between the richest one percent of the world and a man who fuels an aggressive atmosphere towards women and minorities," Funiciello added, "has no place in Switzerland."
Thousands of people marched in Zurich while hundreds descended on Geneva, Lausanne, and Fribourg. Their signs declared: "Trump Not Welcome"; "Switzerland Is Hosting Nazis"; "World Economic Fiasco"; "Racist Sexist Capitalist"; "Don't Touch Women's Rights"; "There Is No Planet B"; and "No Trump, No Coal, No Gas, No Fossil Fuels."
Despite patrols by thousands of Swiss soldiers and a ban on protesting in Davos, where the meeting is being held, Reuters reports that on Tuesday, "About 20 demonstrators broke through security to reach the Davos Congress Centre, holding banners and shouting 'Wipe out WEF' before they were peacefully disbanded by police."
"Trump is just one of the other people we disagree with. We've been protesting every year now against the World Economic Forum and if Trump comes or not we don't care," one protester in Davos, Alex Hedinger, told Reuters. "Trump is just, maybe he's just the best symbol of this world."
The U.S. president and several of his cabinet members are expected to arrive Friday, the final day of the WEF meeting, and Trump is scheduled to deliver a speech that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said will bring the "America First" message to the world stage.