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Clashes erupt in huge Swiss anti-capitalism rally, 61 arrested

 
 
 
 
 
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Swiss police spraying tear gas toward participants in a street parade in Bern, May 25, 2013.

Swiss police say they have arrested over 60 people in the capital Bern after a street parade turned into a protest against capitalism and police brutality.

Authorities said 10,000 people turned up at the event, protesting against neo-liberal economics and commercialism.

The march had started peacefully late on Saturday, but later clashes broke out between the police and dozens of protesters, with the security forces using tear gas and a water canon to disperse crowds.

The Police released a statement on Sunday, saying that 61 people had been taken into custody.

The protesters also opposed the gentrification of parts of Bern, which they claim has driven up property prices.

Prior to the rally, riot police had been extensively deployed with barricades having been set up around Parliament Square.

Organizers issued a statement on Sunday, condemning the measures taken by authorities, saying many of the participants had acted in self-defense and the officials had conducted a smear campaign.

“The state made its intentions clear. The protection of parliament was more important than that of thousands of people,” said the organizers.

The parade, held for the third consecutive year, had been organized on social networking websites.

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