Thousands of Anti-austerity Protestors Clash with German Police (Video)
In Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt, over 7,000 Blockupy movement protestors marched on Saturday during a second day of protests against Europe’s austerity policies.
German police used pepper spray and batons against the anti-capitalist demonstrators who were marching with signs reading “Make love, not war” and “IMF – get out of Greece.”
The protests against the “troika” of international lenders that has bailed out struggling euro zone states – the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union – were planned in several countries on Saturday. They were initially peaceful, but small groups of masked protesters hurled stones and smoke bombs at the police who then responded with force.
Other planned rallies in struggling euro zone members Spain and Portugal drew fewer people than expected. In the first day of protests on Friday, protestors succeeded in paralyzing some of the city’s financial institutions in Frankfurt by cutting off access to the ECB’s office building and Deutsche Bank’s headquarters.
But on Saturday, the police angered marchers by blocking them before they could pass close to the ECB building, after protesters let off firecrackers.
Blockupy released a statement accusing the police of wanting to “escalate” tensions and of blocking a legitimate protest. Spokeswoman Ani Diesselmann said “This is scandalous; the route was approved by several legal institutions.”
Europe’s Blockupy movement was formed in 2011, after the Occupy Wall Street protests. The group blames the budget cuts and labor market reforms pushed by the ECB (European Central Bank), the IMF and European financial and political leaders for driving the continent into a recession that has left more than a quarter of Greeks and Spaniards out of work and millions of Europe’s poor worse off.
Many families are deep in debt or have lost their homes after property bubbles burst, and governments are struggling with large debt burdens. Cutting spending and raising taxes on the middle class deepened the recessions across the euro zone.
Germany’s economy has been fairly resilient to the crisis while more than half of Spaniards and Greeks under the age of 25 are unemployed. Only 8 percent of Germans and Austrians from the same age group are out of work.
Image Credits: Video, RT News, RT-Ruptly, titled “Germany: Police get heavy-handed with kettled in protesters”. Photo, Yahoo News