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'Blockupy' protests paralyse Frankfurt
Photo: DPA

'Blockupy' protests paralyse Frankfurt

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

Germany’s financial centre was in lock-down on Wednesday, with Frankfurt police advising those bankers insisting on turning up to work early not to wear suits – as police moved in to clear a protest camp in the centre of the city.

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.

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.

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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
@Craptastic

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
@DeinSchwanz

"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...
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