The Bilderberg conference, which bills itself as a “forum for informal discussions” held by the world’s top brass, has drawn fire from protesters gathered near the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in Austria, accusing the attendees of corruption and elitism.
After a rally on Friday, anti-Bilderberg activists re-emerged on Saturday afternoon to protest what many of them refer to as a gathering of criminals. Thousands of protesters are expected to assemble outside the hotel where the Bilderberg group meeting is taking place.
“What we have seen is a very tight police cordon. It has been very difficult for many people to get to this area. Some journalists have been subject to rather humiliating police tactics,” RT’s Peter Oliver reported.
Some like it hot, but those gathered for the Bilderberg meeting in Austria seem to prefer it “top secret.” According to the published agenda, a total of around 140 participants from 22 countries have confirmed their attendance this year, including German Defense Minister Ursula van der Leyen, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, UK Chancellor George Osborne and former President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, just to name a few. One of its past participants is the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss Kahn, accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel maid in 2011.
The key rule of participation is the so-called “Chatham House Rule”, which states that while attendees are free to use the information received, “neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor of any other participant may be revealed.”
A 50-kilometer safety zone has been created and two checkpoints set up around the event to ensure the safety of the influential guests. Up to 2,100 officers from all over Austria will be on duty, along with 300 German police officers, should an emergency occur during the four-day conference.
American journalist Rob Dew, news director at Infowars, told RT his crew suffered from what he called “police brutality.”
“At the beginning they were very brutal and rude to us. They saw we’re from Texas, pulled us out of the car and searched us. So the next time we go to the checkpoint we start video taping because that’s what we do in America – when we’re feeling tyranny, we start video taping. And we actually went to the police station live on Skype during the Alex Jones show and confronted them because they were calling our hotel manager asking where we were, when we’re going to be back. We were fed up with it because we’d already shown them our papers and we have nothing to hide, but we’re not going to take humiliation.”
According to the published agenda, the Bilderberg conference will discuss a range of issues – from artificial intelligence and chemical weapons threats to the US elections and European strategy regarding Iran, Russia and NATO.
Investigative journalist Tony Gosling told RT the Bilderberg conference tries to “make sure it’s as difficult as possible to cover the meetings.” He says the mainstream media are actually part of the group.
“We’re given the minimum information and it’s very high security. There are thousands of police and security services in Austria keeping journalists away. The reason journalists don’t often go is because their bosses are there and want the secrecy. You’re not going to upset your boss by trying to break their vow of silence,” Gosling said. “We’ve got around about 20-22 media barrens in there. These are generally controlled private media corporations, senior editors, managers or owners of the big media corporations and they are actually the fourth-largest contingent at Bilderbergs. They are not far behind the bankers and the politicians and the owners of big industry. Essentially, media has become something so you can buy and sell,” he added.