We are affected and grossly disappointed, ”says Beatrice Niedermann (66). On Saturday morning, the St. Gallen shopkeeper was shocked to find that her shop had been damaged by rampaging young people during the night.
After around 200 young people had gathered for an illegal party on the Red Square on Friday evening, the police cracked down and cleared the place. “The mood was quite aggressive,” says Heidi Widmer (22). She watched the scenes from her apartment. “The police tried to encircle the youngsters on all sides. Then it degenerated. “
Some of the partygoers threw stones and chairs at the police, who used irritant gas and rubber shot. Later Beatrice Niedermann’s shop window and a police car were also damaged, and a police officer was slightly injured. Several people were temporarily arrested.
First party in this dimension
“Lately we have had parties in apartments that we had to dissolve,” says Dionys Widmer, spokesman for the St.Gallen city police. “But that was the first party in this dimension – and the first with such potential for aggression.” According to Widmer, the reason for the riots is primarily the current pandemic situation. “Many people have nerves,” he says. “But violence is still not justified – there are rules and we as the police have the task of enforcing them.”
In Zurich, too, the police have recently had to break up crowds of young adults at Utoquai or Bellevue, and there have been some clashes. “For this reason, we have been increasing the police presence there on the weekends for some time,” says Pascal Siegenthaler, spokesman for the city police.
Police seek dialogue
A few weeks ago there was also rabble among young people in Winterthur ZH. But now the police are increasingly on the weekends with uniform patrols and the youth police and seek dialogue, says the spokesman for the city police, Michael Wirz. They have had good experiences with it. “Of course we do not tolerate damage to property or violence, but we have a certain understanding that the boys are in a difficult situation.” In addition, there are only a few who actually show cross-border behavior: “Most of them behave excellently and come to terms with the situation well.”
Nevertheless: the longer the current situation lasts, the greater the risk of incidents like the one in St. Gallen. “The potential for violence and aggression will increase in those population groups that suffer particularly badly from Corona,” says psychotherapist Jacqueline Frossard. It is all the more important to take the needs of young adults seriously. “They are particularly suffering from the current situation – we should recognize their contribution to containing the pandemic and show them understanding for their frustration.”
Published: 03/28/2021, 11:16 am
Last updated: March 28, 2021, 11:21 am
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Gallen Illegal party escalates whats wrong youth