Easter march Pacifists urge end of investment in arms trade

Participants met on the square in front of Bern's cathedral for the traditional Easter rally 

(Keystone)

Several hundred people have called on Swiss banks and pension funds to stop investing in the weapons industry.

The participants of the traditional Easter March in the Swiss capital, Bern, said the policies of the financial institutions had to be more transparent, but individual citizens must also increase their awareness of how their money is invested in business projects.

Speakers said fair salaries, fair trade and fair investment could contribute to a more peaceful society.

The theme of this year’s rally coincides with the launch of an anti-arms trade initiative. Campaigners say Swiss financial institutions have spent about $5 billion (CHF5 billion) since 2011 on companies producing nuclear arms and cluster bombs.

Several participants also carried banners denouncing the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Monday’s rally, organised by churches, aid organisations, women’s committees and pacifist groups, continues a tradition launched in the 1960s in Switzerland to protest against the nuclear armament and the United States military intervention in Vietnam.

swissinfo.ch with agencies/ug

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