There were 20 of us at the WCW protest in Geneva.
Difficult to explain why such a low turnout. We had sent out emails through UN organizations, political parties and other organizations, and placed an ad in a local paper (Le Courrier). The Police were present and it seems they anticipated much more protesters.
Only one journalist came to the protest (the paper we placed the ad) and a cameraman from the TSR, the Swiss Channel network. He did not stay very long.
At 7pm, I learned from a women who worked at the International Labor Organization (ILO) that an email had been sent from the central office to all the members of staff about a potential “terrorist threat”. Much tighter security measures were in place that day. (report Links below)
For me, it cannot be a coincidence. We have never seen this before. This bogus threat was sent to all the UN staff to sabotage our protest and keep people in their offices. A large protest against the Bush regime in Geneva and well covered by the media would have had a disastrous impact for them.
Swiss Television [Romande=French-language] Channel online news article:
From Télévision Suisse Romande:
Alert Lifted at the U.N. in Geneva
UNDER HIGH SURVEILLANCE,
THE UN HEADQUARTERS LIFTS ALERT
[ Keystone ] 06.10.2006 21:19- The terrorist threat alert against the United
Nations in Geneva has been lifted
Friday evening, the UN indicated. Special security measures had been
set up for Thursday following information on the possibility of an attack.
The Intelligence Services for Analysis
and Prevention (SAP) of the Federal Office of the Police Force informed
the UN of the end of the threat, according to the official statement
of the UN. The Police Force of the Canton of Geneva reduced at the end
of the day its patrols around the international organizations concerned,
indicated Patrick Pulh, spokesman of the police force.
An alert on a possible attack against
a building of the UN in Geneva had been transmitted as of Wednesday
to the organization by the SAP. The threat related to one period going
on this subject:
Friday, The Palace of Nations and the
other international organizations located in Geneva had limited access
to authorised personnel only. The activities of the UN however continued
of the UN in Geneva, Marie Heuzé, considered it regrettable that a
confidential note was diffused Thursday, whereas it contained
obsolete information. “When an announced threat is very general,
non-specific, we do not disseminate information”, explained Marie
The UN strongly increased its security
measures in the world since the attack which struck its headquarters
in Baghdad in August 2003. In Geneva, it spent more than 30 million
[Swiss] francs to reinforce the external walls of the Palace of Nations,
controled access with two entries and the surveillance of the building.
30,000 employees of the UN in Geneva
Apart from the Palace, where some 2000
civil servants work, several agencies of UN have their headquarters
in Geneva, like The UN Office of the High Commission for Refugees (HCR),
the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Office of the High Commission
on Humans Rights. On the whole, 30,000 people work in the international
sector in Geneva.