Blockupy-actions are starting now. Police have announced to want to evict (‘temporarily’, but if they do not collaborate it might be for good) the occupy camp in front of the ECB that has been there since October 15 last year. Occupiers have declared that they will ‘resist peacefully’ and Blockupy called for solidarity. On Tuesday police started to surround the camp with fences.
Also the surroundings of the neighbouring ECB has been fenced off with barbed wire.
There is also (more) good news: police decided to withdraw the ‘personal bans’ that more than 400 people got sent home, forbidding them to be in the Frankfurt area from May 16-20. The reason to withdraw the ban is the fear that the bans might not hold in court.
Meanwhile many meanstream media report that the blockades are already functioning. The ECB is organising police escort for some of their personnel, and changing venues for some of their activities (Reuters: – The European Central Bank plans to hold its mid-month policy meeting early, move staff out of its headquarters and shift a farewell event for one of its board members out of town, all to avoid clashes with anti-capitalist ‘Blockupy’ protesters.
(…) The ECB has also shifted a farewell event for outgoing board member Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, due to be attended by policymakers from around the world. It was originally to be held at one of Frankfurt’s plushest hotels, just a stone’s throw from the ECB’s headquarters. Instead it will now be held out of town with guests to be told the exact location only hours beforehand.
Other banks decided to close down completely
The Commerz Bank is closing its offices from Thursday on
Others are boarding up, or removing signs from their buildings, in the hope that demonstrators don’t recognize them. Some smaller businesses have declared to be on the side of the demonstrators and to have made good business with demonstrators. One of the occupy-activists appears to be a trader himself.
Then there is this hilarious report that bankers have been instructed to ‘dress casually’ and not come to work in their usual dress (= suit and tie for men, women can be a bit more frivolous) but wear ragged jeans instead.
In an interview with two activists from an antifascist organisation we can also read about the propaganda from the side of the authorities. One of the arguments for all the repressive measures, is the fact that an anti capitalist demonstration on March 31 turned violent. One police officer was hospitalised, as media don’t stop repeating, claiming that he was ‘severely wounded’. He was, but it turned out that it was mainly pepper spray he got, and he could leave the hospital the next day after they examined him and had that outcome. Police sprays pepper spray on demonstrators as a habit almost, and in large quantities, but not one of the victims got any media attention.
John Holloway in the Guardian: Blockupy Frankfurt is a glimmer of hope in times of austerity (Popular protests such as Blockupy offer an alternative to capitalism for those facing a life hunting through garbage cans)
As the famous folksinger B.Dylan once wrote: You don’t need to be in Frankfurt to block a bank