The eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park in November left protesters without the physical birthplace of the movement around which to rally, and put something of a chill on the endeavor. In Switzerland, protesters of the World Economic Forum have made the movement even chillier.
In preparation for the economic summit of world leaders, which begins on Wednesday in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland — where daytime temperatures have hovered around 23 degrees Fahrenheit and dipped to around 10 degrees at night with a dusting of snow — protesters are carving out igloos from the packed powder.
The plan to build a small igloo village near the Congress Center building, where nearly 3,000 representatives from more than 100 countries are expected, launched on Saturday. Calling for others to join them, the “Occupy WEF” group states the goals of constructing the igloo village on its Web site:
Every year, self-proclaimed «global leaders» allegedly committed to improving the state of the world meet up for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss mountains to propagate their own businesses and network amongst the so-called global economic elite.
This year, we will not let them exclude us, the 99%! We say: occupy WEF!
The Associated Press put out a video of the protesters at work on their frigid shelters. In it, they use shovels and saws to carve out thick blocks of white snow, which they shape and fit together into igloos about half the size of a compact car:
As well as the igloos in Davos, some Mongolian-style tents, called yurts, were erected, according to Occupy WEF’s Twitter feed. Each igloo sleeps about two people, according to Reuters. The protesters expect to house about 50 people in them as well as establish field kitchens and some heated tents.
On their Web site, there’s also a map that shows how to get to the igloo encampment (what looks to be a parking lot) from the local transport link:
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For those who wish to attend, the Web site How Stuff Works has illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to build an igloo.
This article, “Occupy Protesters Build Igloos in Switzerland to Protest Economic Summit,” originally appeared in The New York Times.