1 May: International Workers’ Day. A day for workers and labor unions to not only celebrate their social and economic achievements, but also to demonstrate and protest the shortcomings of the same unions and businesses.
Well on this particular 1 May 2010, legendary Canadian punkers DOA were playing a show in Zurich, Switzerland, at an outdoor venue open to the public. As the band played, a couple of thousand protesters marched on in the background, demonstrating their distaste for the recent bonuses that Swiss bankers had recently received. Apparently, the shit hit the fan and, toward the end of DOA’s set, the riot police decided to tranquilize the demonstrators. Here’s what DOA’s frontman, Joe “Shithead” Keithly had to say of the event:
“Police moved in with water cannons mounted on large police trucks that were about half the size of the fire truck. They were armed with riot shields, batons, and guns that fired rubber bullets.
“When we finished playing, the police surrounded the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone leave. Anyone that tried to get out were tackled and dragged off. If they resisted, the cops would surround them, so I assume a lot of force was used.”
As the police lurched toward the crowd, trying to get them to disperse, Keithly and the rest of DOA sought shelter inside of a building just as the popos had just bust out the tear gas.
Keithly said that of all of his “really violent” LA riot experiences, this Swiss riot was four-times the size and much more organized than any other he’d witnessed before.
DOA is currently touring Europe for the next couple of weeks and returns for a US tour the first week of June (dates here) in support of their upcoming release, Talk – Action = 0 (review here), due 8 June on Sudden Death Records. Check out the first single from Talk – Action = 0, entitled I Live In A Car here (video here).
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