In a statement the Blockupy network wrote about this years (May 31 and June 1) action in Frankfurt: “During Blockupy 2013 we experienced intense and powerful days of collective action and common resistance. On Friday, more than 3000 activists blockaded the entrance to the European Central Bank, making good on our announcement to carry our resistance deep into the heart of the European crisis regime.
We came together in a great camp that was more than simply a place to sleep: for activists from Germany and Italy, from Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain, from Greece and Austria and many other countries it was a place for encounters and exchanges as well for planning actions.
The police’s assault on our international demonstration – with more than 20.000 activists – on Saturday was obviously intended to erase our successes from the previous days, and to split the coalition that had achieved them. Those responsible for the attack – especially the interior minister of the state of Hessia, Frankfurt’s senator for law and order, both from Angela Merkel’s conservative party – could not bear an international demonstration walking right past the ECB. In the run-up to the march, they tried to prohibit the march taking that route, but the courts cashiered their edict. In response, they simply went ahead and ignored the court’s ruling, thus highlighting just how little their talk of democracy and rule of law is worth. The danger that the spotless façade of the ECB might be tainted by a few splashes of paint was apparently reason enough to suspend freedom of assembly, and injure – sometimes seriously – more than 300 people through punches and kicks, through tear gas and pepper spray.
The attack on our demonstration was meant to demoralise and split the movement. They really thought that they could just ‘kettle’ 1000 activists from the anticapitalist block at the head of the demonstration, and that the other blocks would simply continue walking on the route that the police had always intended for us. Obviously, they seriously underestimated the resolve of and solidarity among the coalition and among the activists. An attack on one part of the demonstration is an attack on all of us.
Nobody took them up on their absurd offer to leave behind those in the kettle. Thousands stayed until late in the evening and bravely confronted the police until the very end. It is this common experience of courage and solidarity in the face of police violence that forged even closer bonds amongst our coalition and within the movement.
Blockupy has achieved an important political victory. The attack on our demonstration has turned into a political disaster for the interior ministry and the representatives of the authoritarian politics of crisis ‘resolution’. We are determined to continue preparing further actions at the European Central Bank, this raw nerve of the European crisis regime, where protest is so obviously effective and thus clearly undesirable.”
Footage from Enough is Enough TV of Police violence at last years Blockupy demonstration at June 1 in mobilisation clip for demonstration against police violence 1 week later (June 8, 2013):
You can read an eyewitness account of the police brutality (including many videos and pictures) during this years edition of Blockupy here: Blockupy 2013: Police Brutality in #Frankfurt – An Eyewitness Account
One week after the police attacks there was a demonstration against police violence and state repression with 12.500 people who marched in Frankfurt again. They marched the same route as the Blockupy demo should have been allowed to one week before. This time the police did not attack the demo after they were heavily critised in the mainstream press for their brutality during Blockupy 2013.
In October 2013 German newspaper “Junge Welt” reported that the state prosecuter started a preliminary investigation against 943 people who where kettled on June 1, 2013. This after many people filed a criminal complaint against several policemen and against the interiour minister of the state of Hessen because of police violence and deprivation of liberty during the 10 hour kettle. The legal battle of Blockupy 2013 isn’t over yet but activists are focusing on next years actions in Europe’s finance capital. If the state wanted to intimidate protesters they didn’t succeed as the demostration against police brutality and state repression showed only one week after Blockupy 2013. Activists are determined to come back in 2014 with even more people. The preparations for Blockupy 2014 start with a conference and actions during the Europe Finance Week later this month (Call and programm below).
Footage from Enough is Enough TV of the demonstration against police violence on June 8, 2013 in Frankfurt:
Call for Blockupy’s European Action Conference – 22nd to 24th of November 2013
Against the European austerity regime, against the rule of the EU-Troika, for the transnationalisation of our resistance, for real democracy!
On May 31st and June 1st, the European Central Bank was effectively blockaded by thousands of protesters against the politics of troika. The central commercial zone of Frankfurt was blocked and stores had to shut down, there were loud protests at the airport against deportation, financial and real estate firms were marked and the right to the city was claimed, a care mob called attention to the increased burden on women in the European crisis. Blockupy 2013 brought about intense and powerful days of collective action and resistance. Our many disobedient actions highlighted the ways in which the politics of crisis and impoverishment affect our lives and the lives of millions of people around the world.
Blockupy will return to Frankfurt in 2014 to resist the opening of the ECB’s new headquarters. Yet much remains open. We want to make plans together.
Blockupy 2013 has been one step on the path towards becoming part of a huge, common European and global movement. We want to continue down this path together with you. Therefore we invite you, our friends, colleagues and comrades from all over Europe and beyond, to the Blockupy European Action Conference from November 22nd to November 24th 2013 in Frankfurt.
The Blockupy European Action Conference will be the last of multiple European meetings of movements, networks and organizations this autumn – in Barcelona, Amsterdam, Brussels, Rome. All these meetings aim towards finding ways to transform Europe from below, towards further exchanging and debating practices and strategies and towards forming transnational movements.
During the Blockupy European Action Conference we hope to exchange our different experiences of protest and resistance towards creating a different Europe. One core of the Blockupy idea and practice since 2012 is to link alliance building with disobedient, confrontational actions aimed towards mass participation for scandalizing the violent austerity measures and politics of impoverishment. Now we want to create a space to discuss Blockupy and other struggles up to now, to talk about possibilities for the future, and to sketch out a more transnational Blockupy for 2014.
Our goal with the conference is twofold:
- To engage in strategic debate about the commonalities and gaps in our struggles, and
- To find out together how Blockupy in 2014 could be successful as a platform for transnational resistance against the troika and politics of crisis.
The questions we have
- How do we best create powerful connections between our struggles? How can we push together for a dynamic shifting of forces?
- How do we relate disobedient forms of action (mass blockades, social and general strikes, taking and squatting public spaces, preventing evictions and many more) to alliance-building?
- How do we connect the struggles in the European south and north? What are the needs of different struggles throughout Europe in crisis? How do we relate these to the aims and imaginations for common resistance in countries like Germany, headquarter
of the EU crisis regime, where recent elections have shown voters casting ballot to continue these capitalist politics?
- What role can Blockupy 2014 play within European crisis and the protests against it?