ESTHER ZWINGLI

PROTEST ACTION AGAINST POLICE REPRESSIONS IN 2007 IN CLUBS, DARKROOMS AND CRUISING AREAS

This intervention was a reaction to the increased police harassment of gay men at the time, which included the closing of public restrooms and intensified patrols targeting the known cruising spots in Zürich. The public discussion reached a boiling point as the legality of darkrooms was put into question. These repressions by the city government and the associated puritan discourse were widely regarded as attacks on the gay identity and lifestyle in Zürich. This protest was scheduled for the CSD celebrations of 2007. The official committee of the Christopher Street Day parade had already released a memo, asking the participants to attend the parade in black clothes to symbolically mourn the “death” of Zürich’s night life. Those taking part in this additional intervention carried hand-held masks bearing the portrait of the acting police chief Esther Maurer on one side and the words “Esther Zwingli” on the other. The intention was to criticize both the puristic principles of 16th century swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli as well as the contemporary repressive and morali-stic policies of certain city officials. 

https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Schwule-Wut-ueber-PolizeiRazzien-/story/26061051

https://www.nzz.ch/die_darkroom-kontroverse_geht_weiter-1.670187