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Video shows protesters outside Swiss parliament, not ‘Rothschild’s castle’

September 23, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows people protesting outside the “Rothschild’s castle” in Switzerland.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The footage, which shows protesters being hit with water cannons, was filmed in front of barriers outside the Swiss parliament building on Bundesplatz plaza in Bern. The protesters were demonstrating against COVID-19 restrictions on Sept. 16, Swiss media outlets reported. A chateau owned by the Rothchild family is in Geneva.

THE FACTS: A video of people protesting COVID-19 restrictions in Bern circulated on social media along with false claims that it was filmed in front of a property owned by the Rothschild family.

The famous family has nearly a 300-year history of running European banks and has long been the target of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

“Switzerland. People are protesting at Rothschild’s castle … at belly of the beast … world has awoken up to who the real bad actors are,” reads a false tweet that features the video.

The video shows a crowd outside the Federal Palace in the Swiss capital. LIVE1, a Swiss media outlet, posted part of the video on Twitter. According to Bern police, a water cannon, irritants and rubber bullets were used when people began knocking over barriers, throwing objects and setting off fireworks. The city council announced on Sept. 20 that unauthorized COVID-19 demonstrations will no longer be tolerated.

Château de Pregny, which is sometimes called the Rothschild castle, is located in Geneva.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.