Davos fails to grab the attention of angry protesters
The days when anti-capitalist protesters could rampage through Switzerland’s financial capital Zurich in rage at the Davos talkfest 100 miles (150 km) to the east are long gone.
A couple of hundred anti-globalisation activists managed to rally in the nearby town of St. Gallen on Saturday against the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum opening this week. Braving a vicious north-east wind, they assembled near the station then marched peacefully through the centre of town, barely disrupting the good burghers as they went about their weekend shopping. At the front of the demo a large red banner proclaimed: “Take the future from the capitalists – Smash the WEF”.
The mostly young demonstrators pulled a cart festooned with anti-capitalist slogans, and beat drums and lit crackers to keep time. The march went off peacefully.
Is it a sign of the fading relevance of the world’s greatest networking event? Just as the forum has failed to attract the political leaders of the emerging economies, so it no longer appears to grab the attention of the anarchist and alternative movements.