Switzerland: Occupy in Zurich prepares for non-violent resistance

Zurich’s Paradeplatz is home to Swiss banks such as Credit Suisse and UBS and the main slogan of the Occupy Paradeplatz protest is "Save human beings, not banks".

On November 7, 50 people were living at the Occupy Paradeplatz camp at Lindenhof, a nearby park. Occupy Paradeplatz holds daily assemblies and weekly rallies.

The camp is frequented and supported by many of its neighbours living in the area. The camp has an official postal address and receives support from council workers. Support also arrives from further afield, with farmers from Ticino, the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, sending fruit. A farmer from the region brought in supplies by tractor.

The Council of the City of Zurich is dominated by Social Democrats and Greens, but has rejected the occupiers' application to remain for 99 months. Now Occupy Paradeplatz is calling for support via a petition and emails to the City Council as well as through physical presence at the camp. A workshop on non-violent resistance took place on November 13.

According to a November 10 article in the WochenZeitung — Switzerland's weekly progressive newspaper — the main weakness is the failure of Occupy Paradeplatz to connect with left groups, NGOs and trade unions. Hopefully the threat of eviction will change that.