Big Blockupy protest against European Central Bank


This video from Germany is about the Blockupy movement against the European Central Bank.

By Ben Chacko:

GERMANY: Protesters give ECB office fiery welcome

Thursday 19th March 2015

HUNDREDS were arrested in violent clashes with police in Frankfurt, Germany, yesterday as they protested at the unveiling of the new European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters.

Activists of the “Blockupy” movement staged the huge demonstrations against the bank because of its role in imposing devastating austerity policies on EU member states.

Police said most of the “thousands” demonstrating, who included large trade union delegations and members of Germany’s Left Party, were peaceful but a “violent minority” lobbed “stones and unidentified liquids” at officers, almost 90 of whom were injured.

Surrounded by barricades, police had to use water cannon to clear a path to the entrance.

Black smoke from heaps of burning tyres and rubbish bins billowed out over the city as ECB president Mario Draghi gave a speech saying that the new HQ was “a symbol of what Europe can achieve.”

Green Party economy minister for Hesse state Tarek al-Wazir admitted that the demonstrators were asking “some of the right questions” and that “austerity can be self-defeating” — but claimed the ECB was the wrong target as it wasn’t responsible for government cuts.

But Mr Draghi’s speech gave the lie to Mr Wazir’s words as he insisted that “the fact that some had to go through a difficult period of adjustment was not a choice that was imposed on them. It was a consequence of their past decisions.”

The ECB, along with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, ordered countries including Greece, Portugal and Ireland to slash public spending, jobs, wages and pensions and sell off state assets to the private sector in return for “bailouts” to repay bank loans.

But Mr Draghi made a shameless bid to use anti-EU protests to justify handing even more powers to the undemocratic bloc.

“There are some who believe today, as do the demonstrators outside, that Europe is doing too little,” he said.

Left Party member Andrej Hunko told reporters that Hesse authorities were keen to focus on acts of violence by a few “to delegitimise the protest.”

Party chair Katja Kipping said: “Austerity kills — that’s the message of today’s protest.

“We want a different policy and we are many.”

The German media and politicians have responded to the Blockupy protests against the ECB on Wednesday by denouncing the protesters and demanding restrictions on the freedom of assembly. They seized on clashes prior to the demonstration, involving a few small autonomous and anarchist groups, as a pretext. The protest organisers explicitly distanced themselves from these fringe elements: here.

A LONDON student was finally freed from a German jail yesterday, 11 weeks after being arrested for taking part in protests at the European Central Bank headquarters’ opening day: here.

9 thoughts on “Big Blockupy protest against European Central Bank

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