[Junge Welt] The rule of law was buried in Frankfurt
Notwithstanding court judgments, police forcibly stops Blockupy demonstration to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt
In Frankfurt At noon on Saturday everything indicated that there would be a large colorful demonstration of trade unionists, members of the unemployed and refugee initiatives, airport expansion opponents, the Left Party and European activists. ATTAC, IG Metall and Verdi-flags waved in the wind, the union „Nahrung, Genuß, Gaststätten“ was present with many of its members and the atmosphere was altogether cheerful.
But then the the participants of the march, who wanted to protest against the policies of impoverishment troika of the European Central Bank (ECB), the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, was brutally stopped by the police.
The organizers estimated by then some 20,000 protesters, but had to cancel the count because of the violent police action – the police announced 7000 people. There was no apparent reason for the police to stop the protest. The encirclement of an entire block – the group „Lawyers for the independent investigation committee“ estimated that some 1050 people were encircled – officials justified this with „the throwing of fireworks and the „passive arming“ of some participants“.
Among them were people who had transparent, wore sunglasses and umbrellas. The police officer who gave this information, said at the same time, that he dis not share this point not the opinion of his employer.
Others were very willingly agreeing: Again and again they used pepper spray and batons, there was shoving and scuffles of helmeted policemen against participants.
Eyewitnesses reported that Bengal lights and paint bombs were only used after after police had dashed into the demonstration. Thus, the large protestmarch, which was supposed to lead to the ECB and had its route approved by the Administrative Court of the state of Hessen was eventually blocked by the police. „Everything indicates that this escalation of police leadership in Wiesbaden was well prepared and the escalation had been planned at this point from the very outset,“ said Blockupy spokeswoman Ani Dießelmann. Portable toilets for the encircled march were available on site just a few minutes later.
The whole city was cordoned off by police lines at this time, the European Central Bank with barbed wire. One protester had collapsed in the Blockade cordon and had to be hospitalized, said Blockupy-spokesperson Hanno Bruchmann. Another, who had a bruise under the eye, explained on Saturday night to the Junge Welt Newspaper, he had seen several other activists who were also hit on the head.
Press freedom had been repealed. All this was even too much for the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: The paper reported on Saturday about a crackdown of the police „without real reason, as many say,“ – apparently also a journalist was among the injured. At the Neue Mainzer Strasse, the police denied media representatives access to the blockade protest on the grounds that there was „nothing wrong“ there.
To the objection that nothing would be harmful to take a look then, the police answered: „No more access for the press – orders from the top, from the police leadership in Wiesbaden.“ Parliamentary observers were also not respected, „You are not a Member of Parliament! The ID is forged,“ he was told, reported member of Parliament Niema Movassat. „A black day for democracy! The rule of law was buried in Frankfurt,“ he summed things up.
The protesters who were designated by police to be the violent block did nothing to provoke even shortly before the evacuation late afternoon „by aggressively advancing police-units,“ says Elke Steven of the „Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy“, which had 20 observers on the ground. The police „acted with extreme brutality and their treatment of the protesters violated their physical integrity .“ At the a barrier at Hofstrasse where police were without riot gear operated, at around 9.15 pm there was loud applause for police officers for their actions, clearly embarrassithemng . Slick haired right-wing extremists were happy there, „Well, very goodthat you kick them hard, go right ahead.“
The Blockupy press team summarized: The demonstrators had protested wholeheartely and could not be devided, several thousand remained in solidarity until late into the night. Only at 10.30 pm the organizers stopped the protests with a rally against police brutality and violence. According to the investigation committee a total of 2000 people were affected by police measures during the days of action,
200 were injured by tear gas, clubs and punches.