German Police Arrest 400 “Blockupy” Activists for Defying Protest Ban
Frankfurt police have arrested 400 anti-capitalist protesters on Friday after a coalition of around 40 activist groups joined together in defiance of a government ban on protest against austerity policies.
The demonstrations are part of a four-day blockade of the financial center where protesters aim to disrupt the European Central Bank during a conference on monetary policy scheduled for this weekend. An estimated 30,000 anti-austerity protesters are expected to arrive in the city over the coming weekend.
“Hungry? Eat a banker,” read one banner held up outside the Goldman Sachs offices, reuters reports.
Anti-capitalist protesters on Friday were in defense mode as they set road blocks, altered street signs, & erected barricades in what looks like a prelude to actions in up coming days.
Preventative measures have been taken as high-end shops and other businesses near the ECB have boarded up their windows in anticipation of property damage. ECB officials have been advised to avoid wearing suits and to work from home if possible. Remote meeting locations for the bankers have been established and a retirement party for a bank board member has been moved to a secret location.
Police say they have around 5,000 officers from around the country on stand-by.
On Wednesday, Frankfurt police raided and dismantled an ‘Occupy’ camp near the ECB, clearing out hundreds of protesters who have called the space home since October.