Statewatch article: RefNo# 6670
Davos and Evian
Statewatch bulletin, vol 13 no 1 (Jan-Feb 2003)
In the run-up to this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland, the authorities, in the canton of Graubünden, had promised more openness. In 2001, the demonstration in Davos had been banned altogether. In 2002, this private gathering of the powerful and their entourage fled to New York. This year was the first time a mass demonstration was legally permitted but the police prevented it.
Long before 25 January 2003 it became clear that it would not be easy to demonstrate in Davos. Already in the late autumn of 2002, the authorities estimated that additional security measures for the WEF would amount to 13.5 million Swiss Francs (about 7.5 million euro) - to be divided between the federation, the canton of Graubünden (three eighths each), the local authority of Davos and the WEF (one eighth each). A unique deployment of state power was thereby financed.
Between 1,200 and 2,000 police officers from all over Switzerland - precise numbers are not available - were concentrated in and around the winter sports centre. 1,300 soldiers - armed with assault rifles - provided protection for buildings, 320 professional soldiers of the Festungswachtkorps (“fortifications guard”) were responsible for the protection of foreign politicians. The Swiss Air Force looked after the WEF's safety from terrorist attacks from above, six water cannons and 77 police officers from the German Länder of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg helped from below.
By the end of December, the "Service for Analysis and Prevention" (Dienst für Analyse und Prävention, DAP), the state political police, had banned over 100 foreign demonstrators from entry to the country. The DAP has not disclosed how many entry bans were finally issued. Also secret was the number of people against whom the police from Graubünden planned to issue a ban (Aufenthaltsverbot). Here also, intelligence was issued by the DAP, and the people concerned were by no means only those with former convictions, but also people who had merely been “noted by the police” - which means nothing other than that they were on the records of the political police of the federation or the cantons.

The cattle gate in Fideris
During the winter, Davos is only accessible from one side, via the Landwasser valley, at the base of which the village of Landquart is located. Trains of the Federal Swiss Railway (SBB) run up to that point, anyone wanting to travel further has to change to the railway company Rhätische Bahn (RHB). In Fideris, which is half an hour before Davos, the police installed a special check point, through which all demonstrators had to pass: the plan was that RHB short-distance trains were supposed to stop at a specially constructed platform, which led to a square that was fenced in by gates on the one side and the Landwasser river on the other. The square could only be left through a tent on one side. In this tent, 12 corridors had been constructed with barrier fences, at the end of which employees of the Zurich airport police would search demonstrators for “dangerous objects”. Behind them, police officers familiar with the “scene” would identify potential troublemakers, pick them out of the crowd and issue a travel ban (Aufenthaltsverbot). About 100 metres further, another train to Davos would already be waiting for those allowed to pass.
The organisers of the demonstration, the Olten Coalition, had inspected this control scenario one week before the demonstration and had decided: “we will not pass through these cattle gates”. They decided to negotiate in Fideris. If the police did not allow uncontrolled access to Davos, they would simply demonstrate in Landquart.
On Saturday, most WEF demonstrators arrived in Landquart station, which was surrounded by police, on the “Davos Social Express” (a special train of the SBB), which crossed the country from Geneva via Bern and Zurich. Around 200 of the Coalition delegation, changed to a RHB train at 10 am. At half past ten, the train stoppe

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