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'Determined, yes. Successful, no.'

The Local · 19 Oct 2011, 12:38

Published: 19 Oct 2011 12:38 GMT+02:00

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Demonstrations took place in numerous German cities over the weekend, and tent villages have been set up in Frankfurt and Hamburg during the week.

In solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US, German protesters were taking a stand against perceived injustices in the global financial system and the political handling of the eurozone debt crisis.

See what Berliners had to say

Around 10,000 protesters marched through the capital on Saturday, so The Local asked ordinary Berliners what they made of it all.

Christian H., 26, shipping and logistics agent

"The protesters won’t be successful because the power of the banks is just too strong. Sure, they are determined, but successful? No."

Jessica B., 26, student

"I think it’s good. I’m for protests of every kind. But I do think that it’s more of a symbol (rather than something that will accomplish change). It’s good that the western world is beginning to protest against something though."

Steven A., 33, English teacher

“I'm more of a read-the-paper-from-afar type, but I think it’s a good thing. But I don’t think the protests will be successful. The banks are all far too powerful and the protests are based on the idealism of youth. This ‘we can change the world‘ attitude probably won’t change much.“

Sahin S., 35, IT specialist

"It had to happen sometime. The banks are filling their pockets, and right now during the crisis, saving the banks is wrong. I would take part in the protests, but I wouldn't sleep overnight in a tent."

Christoph S., 20, student

"I think that it's basically right, especially in the US, where the banks are totally crazy. They also absolutely have the upper hand in Germany and Europe, and I have the feeling it's causing the financial crisis."

Story continues below…

Lisa R., 28, lawyer

"If there's not enough pressure put on the banks, nothing will change. I have a lot to do with banks professionally, and the customers are not always well-informed."

Dagmar S., 38, playwright

"I was part of the protests. For me, it's not just against the banks. I think it shows that the majority of people don't support the system."

The Local/jcw/emh

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Your comments about this article

12:17 October 19, 2011 by pepsionice
And the message is what? One of sixty-six different possibilities? This is a comical effort when compared to demonstrations from the 1960s or 1970s.
12:45 October 19, 2011 by HansT
... and we've seen how well those turned out back then!
15:00 October 19, 2011 by freechoice
well one could always go to the polls and vote for a party which doesn't support the corrupt banking system.
16:02 October 19, 2011 by melbournite
@HansT Yes we did, didn't we. Women's liberation, civil rights, gay liberation, equal pay, student rights. Its taken 40 years and still our rulers havent managed to remove everything we won then. Time to fight again.
17:13 October 19, 2011 by Sastry.M
Money is only a means of exchange for acknowledging human transactions. Banks are the media through which transactions are to be regulated in support of basic human necessities purporting ground realities. It is not a race between economic -'isms' that common people are really interested , it is the purpose that monetary exchange really meets their daily needs.

Now the awareness monetary power and its speculative regulation by big bankers appears to be permeating human minds painfully. Caution with realistic remedial approach may avoid disaster before pain percolates into violence in the long run.
17:28 October 19, 2011 by michael4096
comical effort??

Comical compared to protests against an unwinnable war that had already cost 1.5 million lives (but made many rich)? Or, comical compared to Andreas and friends killing bankers rather than just shouting at them?

having lived through both, give me 'comical' anyday
17:54 October 19, 2011 by derExDeutsche
1. These protesters remind me of person, whose lover cheated on them. Only, the Cheated party doesn't get very angry at their lover, they get very angry and start a fight with the person they cheated with.

2. Look at all these glum faces! the Void of not having a Republican President in the WH has lulled this group into a sad mess. I mean look at those depressing posters? Where's Bush? Aw. But not to worry, as of next year all will be right in Dirt City, once again.
11:31 October 20, 2011 by dcgi
As MLK once said: "I have a meme!"
16:09 October 22, 2011 by TWFaust
by pepsionice

" This is a comical effort when compared to demonstrations from the 1960s or 1970s"

I am reminded of the lyrics from "Itchycoo Park":

Why go to learn the words of fools?

What will we do there?

We'll get high

What will we touch there?

We'll touch the sky

But why the tears then?

I'll tell you why

It's all too beautiful
13:16 October 23, 2011 by jbaker
If you want the power structure that includes the banks to fail, all that is needed is everyone start using cash and coin and barter(trade) for the goods and services you use. If everyone around the world did this the banks would fail in days.

Most people are too weak minded to change anything, so it could be a long process of getting rid of this illusionary money that the banks have created throughout the centuries.

The banks money is NOT backed up by gold,silver or anything else of value. The choice is ours to keep living in this prison or tear the prison walls down and truely be FREE.
22:07 October 24, 2011 by phil25
Change cannot come without agitation, education and organisation.

For those who are interested there is an alternative:

01:46 October 25, 2011 by Illogicbuster
In the US the protesters are in the main, brainless pro-communists. They are being kicked out of the parks and arrested.
09:41 October 25, 2011 by MaKo
That "Occupy All The Things" poster... it's so German in its smugness. The problems in the U.S. are real. Most U.S. politicians, regardless as to which side of the isle they happen to be seated, are in the pocket of corporations and haven't done a whole lot to protect their constituents who happen to be actual living, breathing human persons and not Supreme Court deemed corporation-persons.

Sure, there are a lot of wacky elements to the demonstrations, but you don't spend a month in a park just on a lark. The people are right to go out and express their discontent.

Banks used to exist as somewhat secure businesses serving those who kept their money there. Since the eighties, critical regulations have been stripped away one after the other both in Europe and the United States, granting banks the leeway they needed to morph into the savings-sucking, profit-grinding monstrosities they are today.

Being upset about that doesn't make you a communist. I think I might go paint some posterboard myself.
21:44 October 25, 2011 by Illogicbuster
"Being upset about that doesn't make you a communist. I think I might go paint some posterboard myself."

No but, 90% of those surveyed at the protests ARE pro communist...
00:52 October 26, 2011 by richard woods
Grusse auf Wall Street -


There may be [66] flavors here in the Park but there is just [1] mixing machine which is not working too well.

I am sorry to see that so many people outside the USA don't know what it is, maybe because it is such a very American thing: " Me, Myself and I". Previously known as : The American Dream.

Not to say this Thing exists only here but, no where else has it become THE national religion. However, slowly the believers aren't attending services so much. We are the vanguard of the disinherited [who stand around the Park] and who know deep inside why we are here.

There is a commonly seen placard around here, which may be historically inaccurate which reads:


My unwritten question would be: WHAT Do You Call:


rick nyc
02:09 October 27, 2011 by anaverageguy
Government gets big because people think they can control EVERYTHING. Humans are really rather arrogant and egocentric that way. EVERYTHING happens because of us and we can do anything we like. Then once government is big special interests lobby for special privilege and exception.

The key to keeping this from happening is keeping government small and encouraging market competition.

The auto industry was bailed out to save union pensions from bankruptcy judges because we like to meddle in the markets half again too much.... and the whole thing was brought on by the government promoting home buying by people without the means or maturity.

The whole mess can be laid squarely at the feet of big government.
01:14 October 29, 2011 by DoctorEconomy

Government can be neither big nor small in the 21st century. The term "Big Government" was coined by Reagan in the 80's and if we are to move ahead we have to dispense which such outdated labels.

Government is and always has been the buffer zone between Workers and Business. It is in place, primarily, to make certain that a balance is maintained between a community's resources and prosperity by imposing regulation on certain sectors of the marketplace that are prone to abuse by that minority that would personally profit from such an imbalance.

One of the primary selling points of Austrian (Hayekian) Economics by Reagan and Thatcher back in the early 80's was that the unregulated free market would result in the "Trickle Down Effect" whereby the rich would ensure a constant downward flow of cash through to even the lowest levels of society. Everyone would benefit because the default position of the capitalist, we were told, was that of generosity and community interest.

30 years later, that didn't happen. Actually the opposite happened. The principal theory behind the acceptance of the doctrine back then was based on this almost singular claim.

It didn't work out. They lied.

So now it is time to get real and put the rules pertaining to business conduct, ethical use of publicly owned natural resources and essential services back in place, through government, so that the playing field is evened out. That is the essence of revolution.

Reinstate the 1933 "Glass Steagall" act in the USA and then, do it globally. Otherwise people are just going to continue to be angry and THAT, most definitely has to stop.

I am curious to know who among you will cross the street when the light is red?

14:03 October 29, 2011 by Deutschguy
Occupy Wall Street is not "communist". Just because Faux News trolls a crowd for the most outrageous statements and people you can find does not mean that it what the demonstration is about.

Demonstrators want changes to our system that allows Big Banks to control government decision-making at the expense of the rest of us, especially if it means deregulating themselves to wreck the economy. Which they did do.

as to derexdeutsche's question of Where's Bush: same place he always was, either drunk or being dried out. Ask the public their opinion of Cheney and you might be on to something.
14:30 October 30, 2011 by Larry Thrash
Greedy socialist on parade.
10:17 November 8, 2011 by scout1067
Great they are protesting banks, what next? What exactly is the cause the 'occupy' people are protesting for? I think they are protesting against greed and capitalism, but I could be wrong and I freely admit I am not really sure.

I think Jessic B. comment in the article sums up most of the protesters in a nutshell: "I think it¦#39;s good. I¦#39;m for protests of every kind. " Wow, what an awesome attitude and statement of the average protesters mission statement.
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