Three topless Ukrainian protesters, members of the Femen movement, were detained Saturday while trying to break into an invitation-only gathering of international CEOs and political leaders to call attention to the needs of the world’s poor. Separately, demonstrators from the Occupy movement marched to the edge of the gathering.
After a complicated journey to reach the heavily guarded Swiss resort town of Davos, the Ukrainians arrived at the entrance to the complex where the World Economic Forum takes place every year.
With temperatures around freezing in the snow-filled town, they took off their tops and tried to climb a fence before being detained. “Crisis! Made in Davos,” read one message painted across a protester’s torso, while others held banners that said “Poor, because of you” and “Gangsters party in Davos.”
Police said the women were not allowed to demonstrate and that they would be released on Saturday evening.
The activists are from the group Femen, which has become popular in Ukraine for staging small, half-naked protests to highlight a range of issues including oppression of political opposition. They have also conducted protests in some other countries.
“We came here to Switzerland to Davos to explain the position of all poor people of the world, to explain that we are poor because of these rich people who now sit in the building,” said Inna Schewcenko.
Also 100 people from the Occupy movement demonstrated in Davos.