Protesters target government’s anti-Covid policy

The demonstration in Neuchâtel was the first by the Silent Protest movement in French-speaking Switzerland. Keystone/Valentin Flauraud

Opponents of the Swiss governments’ anti-Covid policy have staged another street protest.

This content was published on May 22, 2021 - 17:08

About 5,000 people wearing white overalls marched silently in the town of Neuchâtel on Saturday, according to the Swiss news agency, Keystone-SDA.

They accused the government of infringing individual rights by imposing restrictions to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most demonstrators refused to wear hygiene masks, but police stood by and did not intervene.

It is the latest in a series of protests but the first in French-speaking region of the country.

Demonstrations have taken place regularly in towns across the main German-speaking region. The Silent Protest movementExternal link, which allegedly has 5,000 supporters, staged its first march in the city of Zurich last November.

In same cases, the authorities banned the demonstrations or did not intervene despite obvious violations of government health safety rules introduced to halt the spread of the pandemic.

Swiss voters next month have the final say on a law setting the legal basis for financial support for individuals and companies hit by the government anti-Covid restrictions.

However, opponents say the law passed by parliament last year is a blueprint for the Swiss government to restrict citizens’ rights and infringe on the powers of the 26 cantons.

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