Thousands of demonstrators from the anti-capitalist Blockupy movement have cut off access to the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt to protest against policymakers’ handling of Europe’s debt crisis.
Clasping signs with slogans such as “humanity before profit”, the protesters gathered in the rain to block roads including those leading to Deutsche Bank’s headquarters in the city’s financial district on Friday.
The crowd, estimated by police at roughly 2,500 protesters, was met by armed police wearing helmets and riot gear and accompanied by Alsatian dogs.
Trucks with water cannons stood by and a helicopter hovered overhead.
At least 20 protesters held up inflatable mattresses with the slogan “War Starts Here” written on them.
Police said some protesters had thrown stones and there were some clashes at the barricades, but the protest was generally peaceful.
Al Jazeera’s Nick Spicer, reporting from Frankfurt, said that there is an overall feeling that there is such a heavy police presence that it is in fact the police that are occupying the bank.
“Later they will be going on to the Deutsche Bank, to protest what they see as land grabs in Asia, as well as [speculation] in food prices,” said Spicer.
“They will also be going to one of Frankfurt’s most important airports, to demonstrate their displeasure about the forced repatriation of refugees and racism as they see it.”
Click here for the full story.