REUTERS: Protesters rally against World Economic Forum

Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:19pm EST

GENEVA/DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Hundreds of people rallied in Geneva and Davos Saturday to protest against the World Economic Forum, saying the elite gathered for it annual meeting are not qualified to fix the world's problems.

Carrying banners reading 'You are the Crisis' and throwing snowballs, several hundred protesters marched to fences surrounding the heavily guarded Hotel Seehof in the Davos ski resort, where many world leaders and business people stay during the forum.

Protester Alex Heideger, a member of the Davos Green Party, said these were the people to blame for the economic mess.

"It's the same people who came last year and said the world economic situation is fine, and now we're in a financial crisis. Now it's the taxpayer who has to solve the whole problem.

"It's people like you and me who have to pay for it with their tax money," he said.

In Geneva, where the WEF has its headquarters, police in riot gear fired tear gas and water canon to disperse a crowd that had gathered in a square near the train station, sending people running in all directions. Witnesses said there did not appear to be any violence by the protesters.

The rally in the city's normally staid streets was not formally permitted by local authorities.

Geneva police spokesman Jean-Philippe Brandt said that about 60 people were detained temporarily for checks but there have been no arrests. About 30 have been released and the rest are due to be released soon, he said. "There are small groups of people who are clashing with police but there have not been any injuries on one side or the other," Brandt said, saying there were also no reports of damage to buildings or businesses so far.

Florence Proton of ATTAC Suisse, one of the Geneva organizers, said it was important for outside voices to be heard in debates about how to resolve the crisis.

"The people meeting in Davos are the ones responsible for this economic crises that is becoming, and is now, global," she told Reuters, speaking in French.

(Reporting by Laura MacInnis; Additional reporting by Tessa Unsworth, Reuters Television; Editing by Erica Billingham)

Watch out for false flag/covert ops to discredit demonstrators.

Seems like in Italy it was standard operating procedure.

From The Guardian:

Retribution and revenge
A recent interview by Italy's former president sheds light on on of the most secretive periods of the country's history

by Roberto Mancini

The extract below is from a recent interview with Francesco Cossiga, the former president of Italy, published in the Quotidiano Nazionale. He was asked what the current head of the interior ministry, (home secretary and therefore in charge of the police) Robert Maroni, should do about the recent demonstrations by students and teachers against proposed funding cuts in schools and universities.

"Maroni should do what I did when I was secretary of the interior. He should withdraw the police from the streets and the universities, infiltrate the movement with secret (provacateurs) agents, ready to do anything, and, for about 10 days, let the demonstrators devastate shops, set fire to cars and lay waste the cities. After which, strengthened by popular consent, the sound of ambulance sirens should be louder than the police cars. The security forces should massacre the demonstrators without pity, and send them all to hospital. They shouldn't arrest them, because the magistrates would release them immediately, but they should beat them up. And they should also beat up those teachers who stir them up. Especially the teachers. Not the elderly lecturers, of course, but the young women teachers."