Germany: Protests against # Blockupy austerity measures in Europe

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Society & You - Social Critic
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 12:01

This post is part of our special coverage of Europe in Crisis

Protests' Blockupy '[in] against the "widespread impoverishment and denial of democratic rights that occur in the euro area as part of a global systemic crisis" shocked the financial epicenter of Europe - Frankfurt - last week.

As part of the global action days 12 and May 15, 2012, (12M and 15M), invited activists from across Europe to meet in Frankfurt for a demonstration of international solidarity. The main objective was to block the European Central Bank (ECB) and other important global capitalist institutions. However, the May 4th Municipal Department for Public Order Frankfurt announced [in] that all planned actions are considered illegal, except the concentration of Saturday 19 May.

Occupy Frankfurt at the Financial District. Photo by Roarmag.org (copyleft).

Front of the ECB Frankfurt occupies. Stock Roarmag.org (copyleft).

Then thousands of activists decided to fight the ban and claim the constitutional right [in] "to peaceful assembly without prior permission or registration."

While major international media did not give much attention to it, the social networking sites buzzed with reports from citizens on the mobilization that occurred in the suppression of a massive police presence .

Twitter is shared many videos and photos with the tag # Blockupy [in]. Groups and netizens [in] of different countries, occupies Brussels, Belgium [at] live reporting of the protests, marches and meetings in addition to cultural programs and various discussions on labor, ecology and economics among others.

"Show yourself for the right to show yourself"

Blockupy began the same day the newly elected French President Hollande met with Chancellor Merkel [fr] in Berlin, May 16. Meanwhile in Frankfurt, police executed the order of eviction [in] the sitting of 7 months occupies Frankfurt located around the Euro sign near the center of the ECB. The Critical Legal Thinking blog, which gave detailed coverage of the four days of protest, described the city as " really on a [undeclared] State of Emergency "[i].

Police intercept three Berlin buses on the way to #Frankfurt. Photo by @Blockupy on Twitter.

Police intercepted three buses in Berlin en route to # Frankfurt. Photo Twitter @ Blockupy.

The May 17 holiday media attention directed at German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble , who received the Charlemagne Prize [in] for his work on the definition of the austerity measures imposed mostly in the periphery countries Europe. Meanwhile, buses filled with activists from different cities in the direction of the demonstration against the austerity measures in the center of Frankfurt, where they were prevented from entering the city and were escorted back by police.

Despite the attempts of intimidation, about 2,000 activists were able to occupy, at least for a few hours, the historic square where stands Roemerberg the City and represents the birth of democracy in Germany.

Blockupy protesters take action against banking and finance system. Photo by Patrick Gerhard Stoesser, copyright Demotix (May 17, 2012). Blockupy demonstrators protesting the banking and financial system. Photo of Patrick Gerhard Stoesser, copyright Demotix (May 17, 2012).

Riot police surrounded the square:

Protesters sit down and lock arms in opposition to police presence. Photo by Patrick Gerhard Soesser, copyright Demotix (May 17, 2012).

The protesters linked arms and feel as opposed to police presence. Photo of Patrick Gerhard Soesser, copyright Demotix (May 17, 2012).

At the end of the day riot police evacuated the place by violence, as illustrated by other photographers [of]:

A protester is detained by police. Photo by Patrick Gerhard Stoesser, copyright Demotix (May 17, 2012).

A protester is arrested by the police. Photo of Patrick Gerhard Stoesser, copyright Demotix (May 17, 2012).

The arrest of at least 400 demonstrators [en] of different nationalities shot of solidarity protests in different European cities:

Embassy of Germany in Rome - Protest against repression and arrests in Frankfurt during the protests against the crisis. Signs against the Rome-Berlin axis, the ECB and Merkel. Photo by Simona Granati, copyright Demotix (May 18, 2012).

German Embassy in Rome. A protest against repression and arrests in Frankfurt during demonstrations against the crisis. Banners against the Rome-Berlin Axis, the ECB Merkel. Photo of Simone granati, copyright Demotix (May 18, 2012).

A video of YouTube user sydansalama1 Finnish, with English subtitles interviews, summarized the day's events:

On Friday, May 18 [in], the bank employees were given the day off or worked from home so you do not have to move around the city as the day it was hoped the blockade of the financial district. However, as he wrote [in Roar Magazine Jerome Ross the night before, "Frankfurt is blocked for more than 5,000 police in an unprecedented operation to keep protesters out of town and away from the banks":

when activists are prepared to physically block the headquarters of the European Central Bank , the police appear to have already done the work for them.

"I block! You too?" Photo by ateneinrivolta on Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

"I block! You too?" Ateneinrivolta photo on Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

That same day, the major media reported on the hiring of Goldman Sachs [in] by the Spanish government to assess the banking giant Bankia, that the state had acquired in early May , and also about the rumors of a referendum in Greece [in ] to vote on its continuation in the Eurozone. In Frankfurt, while the banners displayed messages of support to countries in southern Europe, such as " We are all Greeks "), the city remained" affected by the massive police presence, identity checks and road blocks "[i].

When the day finally arrived for the rally legal, May 19 [in], about 20,000 demonstrators (according to the police or more than 25,000 according to the organization) marched through the city center .

Blockupy Demonstration in Frankfurt. A large banner held up by protesters reads: 'International resistance against the Austerity Imposed by the Troika and Governments.'. Photo by Michele Lapini copyright Demotix (May 19, 2012).

Expression of Blockupy in Frankfurt. A large banner reads: 'international resistance against austerity measures imposed by the Troika and governments.' Photo copyright Michele Lapini Demotix (May 19, 2012).

Blockupy Frankfurt: More than 20,000 against financial crisis politics. International participants in the demonstration. Photo by Patrick Gerhard Stoesser copyright Demotix (May 19, 2012).

Blockupy Frankfurt: More than 20,000 against the policy of the financial crisis. International participation in the demonstration. Photo of Patrick Gerhard Stoesser copyright Demotix (May 19, 2012).

Blockupy demo (May 19, 2012). Photo by strassenstriche.net on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Blockupy Statement (May 19, 2012). Strassenstriche.net photo on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

John Holloway, The Guardian, described Blockupy as " a glimmer of hope in times of austerity "[i], and argued that it would boost the" creative outbursts that will follow. " The international policy analyst Vinay Gupta, concludes : [en]

These people causing riots in the streets, protesting classes are not fighting for internal political change in their own countries but (they know it or not) by a readjustment of the political balance in an entire continent.

This post is part of our special coverage of Europe in Crisis .

Written by Sara Moreira · Translated by Azucena Ramos · View original post [en] · Comments (0)
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