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<nettime> [Fwd: Davos WEF, Live Report]
patrice on Fri, 24 Jan 2003 20:09:38 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> [Fwd: Davos WEF, Live Report]

>From the INURA list (http://www.inura.org)

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Davos WEF, Live Report
From:    "r.wolff" <r.wolff {AT} INURA.ORG>
Date:    Fri, January 24, 2003 11:42 am
Friends, it's true, there will be no eyewitness report on Davos from our
side, but let me tell you this much:

it's Friday before the big demonstration. Already helicopters are
disturbing us day and night shuttling VIPs and other WASPS from
Zurich to Davos. Around 180 private jets (from 'Nike', 'Malaysia', 'Coca
Cola', 'Brazil' and other companies) will be landing and
parking in Zurich Airport. Newspapers and news are full with latest info
about last-minute preparations on all sides. It looks like
Zurich and Davos will be on the map for a few moments of global

Last year, in the aftermath of 9-11, the Davos conspiracy was
relocated to New York. This spectacular move, after 10 years of Davos
having hosted the prestigious event, was made to look like an act of
solidarity with New York and the U.S.. Now, altruism is not one of the
virtues the WEF and its organizers are famous for. The real
reason why they left was the huge trouble of the demonstration in the
previous year (read my last year's report
http://www.afn.org/~iguana/archives/2001_02/20010213.html). Public opinion
had turned just as much against the WEF as against the
demonstrations. The way the WEF claimed total security, blocked off one of
Switzerland's main tourist resorts (talk about privatization of public
space!), the more than clumsy way the cantonal polices of Grisons and
Zurich had dealt with the matter, the costs, the
arrogance of the convenors, the never ending noise of helicopters
shuttling between Zurich airport and Davos etc. etc.  had driven
(almost) everybody completely crazy. So except for official politics ('we
have to have this global summit as an image carrier for
Switzerland') hardly anyone lamented the departure of the Davos men to
Manhattan. And we thought they would stay there. Well, we were
wrong and they are back.

This time, no effort will be too big to guarantee total security.
Swiss airforce will have one or two of their F/A18 (Boeing?
Lockheed?) interceptors up in the air, ready to shoot down anybody who
sets their wings to close to Davos. Of course, they will only be allowed
to do this over Swiss territory, which in the Swiss case
poses a real problem. Davos is 15 km (less than 10 miles) from the next
border, which means about 60 seconds by passenger plane, 20 to 30 seconds
at supersonic speed - not much time to identify an alien aircraft. Swiss
airforce will probably get assistance from the French airforce to refuel
Swiss aircraft in the air, so that Swiss pilots can stay aloft 24 hours
every day. Military ground forces will also be deployed. German police
forces are also helping out, sending 7 of their water cannons (which can
be filled with tear gas, too).

To check demonstrators who come by train (which will be the large
majority of all demonstrators) a special, provisional train station has
been built (and this is the main issue at the moment!). All
trains to Davos will be stopped in Fideris and all passengers will have to
get off. There will be 20 gates where everybody has to pass through and
one by one all potential al Kaida members (everybody,
that is) will be controlled. This is a pretty sure and clever way of
driving potentially peaceful demonstrators bananas. Demonstration
organizers have strongly opposed this measure. They have threatened to
have demonstrations all over Switzerland if demonstrators are not allowed
to travel to Davos freely.

Well folks, this is another one of our global showdowns.

More news later

"We don't need no more trouble" (Bob Marley).


Richard M. Wolff, INURA Zurich

Richard Wolff, Dr. sc. nat. ETH
INURA Zürich Institut
Hardturmstr. 261
CH-8005 Zürich
++41 (0)1 563 86 91
r.wolff {AT} inura.org
International Network for Urban Research and Action

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