Frankfurt update Ma 14 mei (Engels)
The Frankfurt authorities are not giving in, after declaring a ban on the coming protests last week, including a demonstration on Saturday May 19.
On the contrary. Now they have even banned activities that are not directly connected to the protests. The Occupy Frankfurt camp, that has been in place since October 15 last year, has to be dismantled during the days of action (May 16-19), and even more provocative is the fact that hundreds of activists have received a personal banning order. They are forbidden to be in the area of a large part of Frankfurt (a map with indication can be seen here) and can be arrested on the spot (and fined 2000 Euro) if they do not obey. For people living in Frankfurt, it would mean house arrest.
People have received this letter that have not even been sentenced to any crime. The letter writes that the police ‘had noticed them’. It is unclear how many people got such an order, but the number is at least a few hundred. Everybody that was hold encircled in a police ‘kettle’ on the anticapitalist demonstration (in Frankfurt on last March 31) and had to hand over ID before being released, has one.
People can start a procedure against this personal ban, but it does not have a suspensive effect, which in practise means you can only ‘win’ posterior the actions.
Negotiations in the weekend between organisers and the local authorities have not had any result. Thus the organisers went to court to demand the right to demonstrate and express. The verdict is expected next Tuesday. Of course, spokespersons of the organisers explained, the protests will go on anyway. Calls to come to Frankfurt are issued all over the country now, and abroad and new video clips appear almost every day.
In a debate on the ban in the provincial parliament (Landstag) representatives from CDU and FDP could be heard explaining that a ban was necessary to protect the police and that demonstrators would commit violence such as the ‘restriction of capital flows’. Also interesting is the declaration that the European Central Bank has the duty to always perform ‘especially in times of crisis’.
Activists turned the acting of the parliamentarians into a funny mobilisation clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW1QvhQYmHc&feature=plcp
The Green Party, by the way, is part of the local government and is under pressure now to do something or leave the coalition, bringing it to a crisis.
Local tv-station Hessischer Rundfunk is mainly broadcasting local shopkeepers who demand that the police protect them. No Greek or Spanish citizens have been shown thus far, demanding to be protected against the horror of the ECB. Activists have distributed letters to inhabitants and shopkeepers in the city centre explaining that ‘small business venues will not have to fear anything, on the contrary, as earlier experiences learn if tens of thousands of demonstrators show up, they will want to eat and drink’. A separate letter was distributed to personnel of the banks in the financial district. It explained that ’they will not be able to go to work Friday May 18th, but the actions are not meant to be directed against people working at the banks personally’.
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