Policemen detain a wounded anti-capitalist 'Blockupy' protester near the European Central Bank (ECB) building before the official opening of its new headquarters in Frankfurt March 18, 2015. (Reuters / Michael Dalder) / Reuters
Thousands of protesters have been clashing with riot police in Frankfurt ahead of a ceremony on Wednesday that opened the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB). The morning rally was marred by torched vehicles burning in the blocked streets.
1. The German city of Frankfurt has become home to the
twin-towered €1.3-billion ($1.4 billion) ECB headquarters The
complex has become a source of anger for many Europeans in times
2. Riot police had to build barricades to block “aggressive”
crowds of anti-capitalist protesters and disperse them with water
cannons. According to police, nearly 90 police officers were
injured by stones and unidentified liquids.
3. Dozens of protesters say they were injured by pepper spray,
used by police. At least 350 people were detained, according to
police, and others taken into custody for questioning.
4. A breakaway group of demonstrators turned to torching cars,
which later smoked amidst burning stacks of tires and rubbish
bins that blocked the streets of the German financial capital.
5. The protest against austerity was organized by the Blockupy
group, named after the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement, which
estimated the number of participants at about 10,000 people, who
had flocked to Frankfurt from all over Europe.
6. Activists are irritated by what they describe as "capitalist
business as usual" – strict austerity measures imposed on EU
countries, hit by the financial crisis. They intend to blockade
the ECB building, which they regard as a symbol of capitalism.
7. The European Central Bank is responsible for eurozone policy,
it also manages the euro, so even supporters of the new Greek
government, led by the left-wing Syriza party, have traveled to
Germany to take part in the demonstration.