‘Blockupy’ protest hits Frankfurt: LIVE UPDATES
13:53 GMT: The rally arrives at the ECB.
13:35 GMT: The demonstrators mark scarce police presence
at the ECB, the focal point of previous week's clashes. "Police
have mostly cleared off the streets," witnesses tweet.
13:27 GMT: The protest is now moving to its final point - the European Central Bank - after a short break with speakers in front of the old Opera. The protest is so far peaceful with many taking a plunge in fountains as it's quite a hot Saturday in the city.
13:00 GMT: The march reaches peacefully St. Paul’s Church,
where participants are being addressed by the protest organizers
slamming the troika of creditors: the European Commission, the
International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank. The
rally blames them for harsh austerity sweeping through Europe.
'No to troika!" the rally chants.
12:51 GMT: Police estimate 7,500 are taking part in the event, while organizers claim there were 20,000 attendees.
12:15 GMT: Demonstrators in Frankfurt say their march is also in solidarity with Turkish protesters who have recently suffered police violence.
12:00 GMT: An open letter condemning the violent police
crackdown on demonstrators on June 1 was published by the New
Germany daily. The letter was signed by German political
scientists, historians and social scientists, saying they were
"extremely concerned about the actions of the police," which
should have been protecting protesters, not hindering them.
11:40 GMT: Organizers claim 8,000 are participating in the
Frankfurt ‘Blockupy’ march. A witness tweet shows police officers
in front of the ECB, saying they only laughed when asked about
11:15 GMT: Protesters see their umbrellas as a symbol of
defiance against the police, which opposes umbrellas at
Demonstrators are also carrying banners with photos from the previous Blockupy protest showing police violence.
11:00 GMT: The 'Blockupy' march kicks off in Frankfurt. At least 3,000 were expected to attend the protest. Witnesses' estimates on the number of participants vary from 1,000 to 5,000.
German police used pepper spray and batons
against thousands of ‘Blockupy’ demonstrators as they marched in
Frankfurt to protest austerity in Europe. Police then halted
marchers after had walked only 500 meters, leaving them unable to
reach one of their major targets: The ECB building, which they
had blocked the day before.
The police later said they were attacked by small groups of protesters, who provoked them into using force and pepper spray.