Zurich police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse a violent youth riot late Saturday night in a scene that called to mind the U.K. unrest last month.
The Zurich police made 91 arrests, and about half remained in detention as of yesterday, according to Swiss Info. Many of those currently in custody threw stones at police, shattered shop windows, destroyed cars and set trash cans on fire.
According to Swiss police, the riot started as an unlicensed open-air rave near the central railway station in Zurich that brought in youth mostly from outside the city. Only a handful of rioters were over the age of 25.
Daniel Leupi, the Police Chief of Zurich, described the youths as "riot tourists."
You can watch the disturbing video of the youth riots in Zurich courtesy of Euronews here:
Zurich has seen several events of unrest involving violent youth mobs recently, including an attempt earlier in the day by about 200 protestors to disrupt an anti-abortion rally. The counter-protest group ended up skirmishing with police. The week before, 1,000 gathered for an illegal party and clashes erupted when police asked youths to get down from on top of a tram.
Other Swiss authorities have already reached out for help to stem the rising tide of crime and unrest in a country known for almost 200 years of neutrality in wars. The deteriorating security situation in the Geneva canton (state) forced officials to seek training from the NYPD last week. The NYPD is world renowned for crime reduction and crowd control and will help train Swiss police, who have been blamed recently for ineffective policies.
With Greece on the edge of a Euro default, and the rest of the EU scrambling for solutions to avert economic catastrophe, police forces across the continent could face pitched street battles with violent youth mobs from Madrid to Munich in the weeks ahead.