In a wave of protest, thousands of people across Europe have responded to the ban announced by the city of Frankfurt am Main of the “Blockupy action days” from May 16-19. Just over the weekend, more than 1600 persons signed a protest note online, which states, “This ban is an obvious breach of the constitutional right to demonstrate. We insist that the protest against the crisis politics can take place in the Frankfurt financial district and at the ECB headquarters, as it complies with the existing jurisdiction of the German Federal Constitutional Court.”
Many politicians have also signed the petition, including the deputy chairman of the SPD (Social Democratic Party) fraction in the state parliament of Hesse, Thomas Spies, Andrea Ypsilanti of the SPD Hesse, the green European parliamentarian Sven Giegold, Astrid Rothe-Beinlich, vice president of the state parliament of Thuringia and member of the national executive committee of the Green Party, and the member of federal parliament, Sahra Wagenknecht, of the Left Party. Labor unionists, representatives of the peace movement, academics and artists also signed, such as the musician Konstantin Wecker. The many international signatories include prominent persons, such as the professors Michael Hardt (USA) and John Holloway (Mexico).
“The planned ban of our protest lies precisely in line with the crisis politics of the troika and the German government, according to which all means are to be used to prevent all resistance, even if basic rights are lost in the process. This kind of politics has lost all legitimacy with the elections in France and especially in Greece,” said Christoph Kleine of Blockupy. “The Blockupy actions are all the more important because we now must defend the democratic decision of the Greek people against a new attempt at extortion by the troika and the German government.”
The Frankfurt police authorities had announced in a press announcement on Friday afternoon that they would prohibit the entire Blockupy protests, including the demonstration on May 19. “It will not be possible to prevent these protests from taking place – neither legally nor de facto,” said Werner Rätz, who participated in talks with the city on behalf of Blockupy.
The registrants have been and remain available for cooperative talks. Should the city not change its decision to ban, the Blockupy alliance will, as announced, file a legal complaint.
The alliance furthermore rejects assertions of the head of the Frankfurt police authority, Markus Frank, according to which “in training camps in Berlin, but also in Italy, violent actions for the Blockupy days are being prepared” (Frankfurter Rundschau).
Blockupy spokesperson Martin Mersing: “That is absurd. Frank’s speculations lack any basis and blatantly serve to criminalize the planned actions before they take place.” There have in fact been public action trainings in many cities, such as Berlin, Bonn and Frankfurt, where the press and passersby could be convinced of the de-escalating behavior of the participants in the action.
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