Thousands took to the streets for the ‘Blockupy’ protest in Frankfurt, Germany as the European Central Bank’s (ECB) new headquarters was scheduled to open in the city.
The protest was against a crisis situation in Europe they say has been created by the ECB, EU and IMF, and mainly enforced by the German government.
It is being reported that at least 350 people were detained at the protest and more than eighty police have been injured in clashes. Tear gas was used against protesters who pelted stones and torched cars.
Representatives of the anti-austerity Blockupy movement have said that many protesters were injured as police used tear gas and water cannons.
RT reports: A total of 10,000 policemen are ensuring security in the city. Official representatives of Blockupy describe the current security measures as unprecedented, and accuse the police of creating an atmosphere of fear.
RT’s Peter Oliver spoke to one of the rally organizers, who have come from Spain, Sol Trumbo Vila of Transnational Institute.
“This is an expression of anger at the way European policies are affecting European citizens,” Vila said. “Today the authorities are having a party to celebrate the institutionalization of neoliberal policies on the European continent. And we are here to say there’s no consensus in the way the European policies are being imposed. This is affecting all countries.”
Police came under fire from the organizers for causing the violence, saying security forces orchestrated a “civil war-type scenario” to provoke demonstrators.
“This is not what Blockupy planned,” the group’s spokesman, Hendrik Wester, told German news agency DPA.
It was estimated that approximately 17,000 protesters flooded Frankfurt streets with many coming from across Europe including Greece.
The official ceremony marking the opening of the new ECB headquarters took place, despite the protest.