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May 1 protestors clash in Zurich

Zurich police arrested around 300 protestors and one person was seriously hurt during May 1 riots in Switzerland's financial centre.

This content was published on May 1, 2008 - 18:58

Thousands of workers and supporters demonstrated across Switzerland to mark Labour Day, demanding higher minimum wages. Protests were largely peaceful outside Zurich.

In Zurich, more than 10,000 people turned out on Thursday to listen to speakers who once again criticised the salaries of top managers and called for a flexible retirement age.

As has been usual for the past few years, police clashed with leftwing activists on the sidelines of the official events, using rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas. Some 300 of these demonstrators were detained while two people were injured - one seriously - after being hit by a car.

In Lausanne, despite the fact there was no rally because May 1 was a public holiday in Switzerland this year, around 200 young anarchists gathered near the station.

No incidents were recorded during their parade through the city centre, but a number of glass windows were broken later, including one at the local McDonalds fast-food restaurant.

In Geneva, more than 1,500 people marched to defend collective bargaining agreements, while in Bellinzona, where a lengthy strike at the railway maintenance yards finished recently, 4,000 turned out.

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