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3 topless Ukrainian feminists detained in snowy Davos


January 29, 2012 - London

Three topless Ukrainian protestors were arrested in the snow in Davos as they tried to break into an invitation-only gathering of CEOs and political leaders to call attention to the needs of the world's poor.

With temperatures around freezing in the snow-filled town, they took off their tops and tried to climb a fence before being detained.

After a complicated journey to reach the heavily guarded Swiss resort town of Davos, the feminists arrived at the entrance to the complex where the World Economic Forum takes place every year.

"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".

Davos police spokesman Thomas Hobi said the three women were taken to the police station and told that they weren't allowed to demonstrate.

Hobi said that they would be released later today.

The activists are from the group Femen, which has become popular in Ukraine for staging small, half-n*ked protests to highlight a range of issues including oppression of political opposition.

They have also conducted protests in 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," the Daily Mail quoted Inna Schewcenko, a protestor as saying.

They were joined by demonstrators from the Occupy movement, which started in opposition to practices on Wall Street, who marched separately to the edge of the gathering.

They held a separate demonstration in Davos and a small group of their protesters are now camped in igloos in Davos to call for more help for the needy.

About 40 Occupy protesters gathered in front of the town hall.

Some held placards with slogans such as "If voting would change anything, it would be illegal" and "Don't let them decide for you, Occupy WEF".

They then marched toward the forum, prompting about a dozen police officers to hastily erect a mobile barrier as shoppers looked on with bemusement.

The demonstrators chanted anti-capitalist slogans, remaining about 30 meters from police lines.

One member of the Occupy camp was invited to speak at a special event outside the forum on Friday night to discuss the future of capitalism, while British opposition leader Ed Miliband was also speaking.

Soon after the panel discussion began, some activists in the audience jumped up and started chanting slogans, and the protester panelist walked off the stage.

Other members of the audience told the activists to "shut up" and arguments disrupted the panel for almost 20 minutes.

During the summit, however, the U.N. trade chief urged global leaders to focus much more on reducing inequalities around the world than constantly looking to appease financial markets.

ANI

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