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Anti-Trump protest in Swiss capital ahead of Davos visit

© AFP | A woman holds an anti-Trump placard during a protest in Swiss capital Bern ahead of the US president's planned visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos

GENEVA (AFP) - 

Several hundred anti-capitalist demonstrators marched in Switzerland's capital Bern on Saturday to protest against US President Donald Trump's planned visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

With placards reading "Eat the rich" and "Fight WEF, Trump, capitalism", the protesters also targeted the annual meeting of the world's political and business elite at a luxury Swiss ski resort.

Davos often draws small protests against its famous participants and global trade agenda, but with the surprise announcement this week that Trump will attend this year's January 22-26 meeting, Swiss authorities warned "a high potential for violence must be assumed" at demonstrations across the country.

However Saturday's unauthorised protest, organised by a group called RJG, remained calm and without incident, Swiss news agency ATS reported.

On its website, RJG said that "despite a strong police presence and significant provocations from civilian police, the protest was organised successfully".

"The World Economic Forum claims to be a platform for constructive solutions to global problems," the group said, "however it remains a meeting for the establishment to discuss a neoliberal agenda".

A petition headlined "Trump not welcome -- stay out of Davos" started by another group, Campax, had gathered more than 12,880 signatures by Saturday.

Another protest against Trump's arrival at Davos, the timing of which remains unclear, is planned for the evening of January 23 in Zurich.

© 2018 AFP