Peace rally in Bern – Easter March: Hundreds for “demilitarization instead of rearmament” – News

  • Around 500 people demonstrated for peace in Bern on Easter Monday.
  • “Demilitarization instead of rearmament” was the motto of this year’s Easter march.
  • The parade was marked by rainbow flags.

“There are no wars and conflicts because there has been too little armament, but too much,” was the organizers’ appeal. Switzerland should invest in combating security risks such as gender-based violence, racism, poverty, climate change and pandemics instead of in the army.


The parade was marked by rainbow flags.

Keystone/Peter Klaunzer

Switzerland must finally sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It should also work for the demilitarization of the borders and ensure better protection for refugees.

“Not naive, but courageous”

Switzerland also needs to be committed to strengthening and democratizing institutions under international law such as the UN. That makes more sense than investing in military alliances like NATO.

Those who work for peace are not naive, but courageous.

The peace movement is being criticized as naive, said Zurich National Councilor Marionna Schlatter (Greens) at the meeting in Eichholz. But the question arises as to whether those who only talk about rearmament instead of the causes of war are naive. Anyone who works for peace is not naive, but courageous.

Peace flags and Öcalan banners

Rainbow flags dominated the image of the procession, which led from Eichholz along the Aare to Bern’s old town. Around 70 people also mingled in the crowd demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, the founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Almost 40 organizations, mainly from left-wing and church circles, called for the event. This year, too, the destination of the parade was Münsterplatz, where participants in the final rally braved the rainy, cold weather.

Easter marches have taken place in Switzerland since the 1960s. In Bern, the tradition fell asleep towards the end of the Cold War, but was resurrected in 2003 after the US invasion of Iraq.

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