• Germany's news in English

'Blockupy' protests paralyse Frankfurt

The Local · 16 May 2012, 11:24

Published: 16 May 2012 11:24 GMT+02:00

The camp was peacefully cleared by midday on Wednesday, with police carrying the protesters away after a court had ruled they had to leave the area surrounding the Euro sign in front of the European Central Bank (ECB).

Around 40 groups had designated the long weekend one of action to protest the power of banks and “the Europe-wide impoverishment policies”. The groups, which included trade unions, the globalisation critics Attac and various left-wing initiatives adopted the slogan “Blockupy” for the weekend.

The protest was supposed to kick off on Thursday, a bank holiday, when the plan was to occupy central squares, and on Friday a blockade of the ECB was planned. A court had disallowed many of the planned demonstrations, although a rally on Saturday was granted permission. It was expected that many protesters would try to blockade the banks regardless and fears of violence rose during the early part of the week.

By Tuesday evening metro stations had been closed and the Commerzbank said it was going to close its two sky scrapers, while the German Central Bank confirmed on Wednesday it had held a meeting of ECB executives on Tuesday – a day earlier than planned.

And the farewell ceremony for departing ECB executive board member Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, due to be held in a city centre luxury hotel on Wednesday, was moved to a venue in the countryside.

“Commerzbank branches located in the security zone of the Frankfurt inner city will at least partly and for some time be closed,” a spokeswoman for the company told Wednesday’s Handelsblatt newspaper.

Story continues below…

Helaba bank told its staff to take Friday off or work from home to avoid having to come into the city, while the state-owned KfW bank gave its staff similar advice and was expecting less than 20 percent of its 2,500 workers to show up, the paper said.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:43 May 16, 2012 by catjones
Or, to put it another way: the police cannot be trusted to protect its citizens.
14:33 May 16, 2012 by DOZ
Free Education for all. Down with Discriminating Education Practices of the Capitalists.
16:24 May 16, 2012 by Craptastic
Yes, free education, but then you have to pay us top dollar to be professors. Oh, and by "free", we mean that productive taxpayers should fund our desire to earn degrees in underwater basket weaving. Such a workable model. I wonder why no one ever thought of it!

The police did their job. People who wanted free and unfettered access to public property were not frightened away by folks who can't be bothered with the true mechanisms of democracy, permits.

When a number of persons conduct any joint enterprise according to rules and thus restrict their liberty, those who have submitted to those restrictions when required have a right to a similar submission from those who have benefited by their submission. - H.L.A. Hart on what constitutes "fair play"
19:09 May 16, 2012 by vonSchwerin

Why the attack on professors? If someone goes to the trouble to earn his Promotion (Dr.phil., Dr.rer.nat., etc.) and his Habilitation (Dr.habil.), he should be paid a decent wage. He is a highly trained specialist. Additionally, I doubt many of the Blockupy protesters have worked hard enough to earn a Habilitation.

Also, in Germany -- unlike in the USA -- professors do not have the universal reputation for being leftists. There are plenty of CDU-affiliated professors, even in the humanities and social sciences. Check out the Kuratorium of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung for some examples.
19:33 May 16, 2012 by MeinSchwanz
@ vonSchwerin

'If someone goes to the trouble to earn his Promotion (Dr.phil., Dr.rer.nat., etc.) and his Habilitation (Dr.habil.), he should be paid a decent wage. He is a highly trained specialist.'

Free Wages For All. Down with discriminating Wage Practices of the Capitalists.
20:34 May 16, 2012 by finanzdoktor
@ von Schwerin: At face value, Mein Schwanz probably hasn't gotten of his/her namesake, and taken the initiative to accomplish much. Instead, he/she thinks those who work hard and achieve much, even if from a lowly background, should continue to pay for those who do not. So, just take their response(s) with a grain of salt, so to speak, or better yet, just ignore their ignorance.
21:08 May 16, 2012 by vonSchwerin

"Down with discriminating Wage Practices of the Capitalists"

Oh, I get it. What you really mean is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need!" ("Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!")

What an original and functional idea you have.
20:22 May 18, 2012 by Craptastic
@ vonSchwerin:

I believe I was misunderstood. Let me clear it up: These people (non-professors) wants us to give them free education, but we still have to pay our profs top dollar. This just can't work. It has nothing to do with my acceptance that profs have value (they do), but rather that it is senseless to ask for a product for free then insist that the producer also get paid. The mathematics just don't add up.
18:45 May 19, 2012 by marcus anthony bynum
tuna stir- fry over whole- wheat vermicelli yield 6 servings serving size 1 cup... fish is both a delicious and nutritious meal option...
Today's headlines
Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.

A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Germany-denying beauty king fights cops with guns, teeth
Left: Adrian Ursache in his glam days as the 1998 Mr. Germany. Right: Police trying to evict him from his own 'country'. Photos: DPA.

Former Mr. Germany winner and founder of a group that denies the existence of Germany refused to be evicted, provoking a shootout - and bite-out - with police.

Politicians renew call to bring Snowden to Germany

Green and Die Linke (Left Party) politicians are asking that NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden be allowed into Germany for an ongoing investigation.

Merkel urged to address Turkmenistan rights record
Angela Merkel with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Photo: DPA

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to bring up major rights violations, including a "policy of disappearances", when Germany hosts the president of Turkmenistan next week.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd