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Frankfurt sees 20,000 protest austerity

The Local · 19 May 2012, 15:33

Published: 19 May 2012 15:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 May 2012 15:33 GMT+02:00

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It was the only demonstration of the anti-capitalist movement "Blockupy Frankfurt" that was authorised by the city and justice authorities.

The other protests over the past four days were held despite being banned by city officials. "Blockupy Frankfurt" had called for four days of protests, from Wednesday to Saturday, to paralyse Germany's financial capital and hinder the work of private banks and the European Central Bank (ECB).

Organisers put the turnout for Saturday's peaceful march at more than 25,000 people, some of whom carried placards saying "The eurozone is in ruins" and "When unfairness becomes the rule, resistance becomes a duty."

Police arrested more than 400 people in the city on Friday ahead of Saturday's main protest.

The city has been filled with 5,000 police officers since Wednesday, who even suggested bankers going to work should not wear suits and keep a low profile.

Many banks were closed for a public holiday on Thursday, but some suggested their employees work from home on Friday. A number of central metro stations were closed and shops barricaded.

Commerzbank, one of Germany's top banks, which occupies one of the biggest skyscrapers in Frankfurt, has said it would close until Sunday.

The ECB's huge Eurotower building was the focus of a number of protests on Friday, while there was some disruption in the city centre too, a police spokeswoman said.

Police said most demonstrations were peaceful, atlhough some activists claimed those who had been arrested were left for hours in police buses.

The city's mayor banned most demonstrations over public order concerns, though protesters have been given permission to march on Saturday.

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"Blockupy" demonstrators hailed the action as a success, with spokesman Erik Buhn telling German television channel Phoenix, "We have revitalised civil disobedience."

On Wednesday, police cleared a group of protesters from the "Indignant" movement who had camped for seven months in front of the ECB.

AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:22 May 19, 2012 by SynJyn Tweer
Yes the banks, large corporations and Governments are the main cause for the despair of the masses. They entice the masses into dept raking of massive profits. From school days even in school we are taught to be achievers to have ever more via the massive media attack on what we neeeeeed.

It is time to stop the profanity of banks, large corporations and Governments let all stand up and protest.
11:33 May 19, 2012 by Craptastic
Wow! Where did you go to school? I was never taught to buy more. I was taught to save more money.

Ahh, the culture clash. It is time to stop the "keeping up with the Jones" mindset. Then, the bank won't have any loan consumers.
17:51 May 19, 2012 by McM
Revitalize civil disobedience.. Well that certainly sets the bar high in reasoned consideration and life skills. A wonder of modern social networking and cat herding at its best. No doubt there are many good reasons for those involved to feel the need to take on the abstract demons that haunt the world and shuffle around the money but I often wonder if all that social energy was channelled into some more worthy constructive activity. How much more would be achieved by harnessing all those hours of demonstrating energy. Not to mention the logistics and infrastructure support that goes into making such events possible. We are all hungry for a cause to add drama and meaning to our lives. This seems to have been very successful at achieving this for so many happy protesters and giving their alleged targets cause for thought. I love a German rally.
18:51 May 19, 2012 by ProgandaLady
This is the camp who thinks spending money is how you get out of debt. Real smart people. The same people who voted for politicians who promised to spend more money. now like McM, they will treaten disobedience like children when they dont get what they want. I can hear them in unison now, 'Waaaaaaaaaa!!!'
02:55 May 20, 2012 by Eric1
Haters on parade. These people don't understand that socialism cannot exist without capitalism but capitalism can do just fine without socialism. Destroy capitalism and we wind up like Russia with everyone living in poverty - except the "better than the common people" socialist dictators.

Capitalism has lifted more boats than any other system known to man. Life is better on Earth than it has ever been because of it. We are living in times than our ancestors never dreamed could be. Freedom and capitalism work every time it's tried. Socialism has never worked and never will because the takers get greedy. Stop the hate, support capitalism.
09:33 May 20, 2012 by Bavaria Mike
And Angela just gave herself and ministers a pay raise. Is that austerity, LOL? I went 10 years without a pay raise then took a 28% pay cut when the contract changed. Still managed to pay my portion of welfare to the deadbeats, and there are more deadbeats flowing into the country. Soon, we will have an even larger portion of the population that are useless and can hardly speak German!
12:39 May 20, 2012 by Englishted
@Bavaria Mike

I thought that the whole population of Bayern could "hardly speak German! " the rest of the country speaks Hochdeutsch .
17:21 May 20, 2012 by Bavaria Mike

This is true but apparently it doesn't take good grammar to brew great beer, LOL. I learned Hochdeutsch in college and still find it easier to communicate outside of Bavaria but hey, I like it here.
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