Mass demonstration against EU’s austerity policies

After two days of occupations and blockades of the German banking centre Frankfurt/Main (see http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5759 ), up to 30,000 demonstrators took to the streets in the final mass demonstration of the Blockupy movement on Saturday, 19 May. As the daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau commented: “Blockupy wins!” Legal attempts to ban the protest, arbitrary harassment and detention of demonstrators travelling to Frankfurt, and massive provocations from the police did not succeed. The demonstrators remained calm and celebrated a day of international, creative, and combative protest against the Europe of the banks and corporations. Participants came from different European countries; French and Italian activists in particular were there in large numbers, but there were also participants from Austria, Belgium, Tunisia, and other countries.

The demonstration was made up of different contingents of left-wing groups: Attac, protesters against the train station project Stuttgart 21, a relatively small number of trade unionists (only the teachers’ union GEW was part of calling for the demo, plus some individual trade union branches and the public sector union’s youth wing), and a large contingent of the Left Party. SAV members participated in the contingents of the Left Party and its youth organisations Linksjugend [’solid].

SAV banner: "We won’t pay for the banks"

The Blockupy protests showed that also in Germany – the belly of the EU beast, where the effects of the capitalist crisis are not felt so sharply at the moment – there is a large potential for anti-capitalist protest against the EU’s austerity policies and the fiscal treaty. This must be organised and further developed. The trade unions and the Left Party in particular, but also the Blockupy alliance, will have to develop ideas of where to go from here.

SAV members supported by comrades from Austria and Italy sold hundreds of papers and pamphlets on the situation in Greece. We put forward demands for the cancellation of the debt, the nationalisation of the banks, for Europe-wide coordinated strike action, and for a socialist Europe against the Europe of the banks and corporations.

Watch videos of the Blockupy protests here and here.

Click here for more photos

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