Press Release (March 31st, 2012): M31- Anti-capitalist demonstration in Frankfurt

M31 / Anti-capitalist demonstration in Frankfurt 

6,000 people at European Day of Action against Capitalism / Organizers criticize police violence and mass arrests Frankfurt.

In a demonstration associated with the europe-wide anti-capitalist day of action “M31″, 6000 people demonstrated against the neo-liberal and authoritarian crisis policies of the EU. Parallel demonstrations and rallies were held in over thirty European cities, including Madrid, Athens, Milan, Zagreb, Vienna, Utrecht, Moscow and Kiev.

In speeches and greetings, the dramatic impact of current crisis policies in different European countries were discussed. Speakers of the M31 network saw today’s actions as a first step to link anti-capitalist protest internationally. During the demonstration, paint bombs and stones were thrown at the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB), the center of the city police and employment agencies. Under the pretext of determining “some suspects”, police split off and encirceled one third of the demonstration at Allerheiligentor, using batons and pepper spray. Several people were injured, some significantly.

Due to this disproportionate interference, the entire demonstration was blocked for one and a half hours, and its continuation was made virtually impossible. Subsequently, the demonstration – which was originally supposed to draw to the site of the new ECB headquarters – was dissolved in Frankfurt’s Ostend. More than 200 demonstrators were rounded up for more than 6 hours on the street. Lawyers were denied contact with those kettled. A spokesperson of the M31 alliance rated these police measures “manifestly unlawful”. After the demonstration was dissolved, hundreds of demonstrators marched through downtown Frankfurt.

Some militant actions were directed at office and commercial buildings, including the Frankfurt town hall and the employment agency. Leo Schneider, spokesman for the M31 Alliance, commented: “In Frankfurt, we sent a clear signal against current German and European politics of crisis regulation. This crisis policy aims to restore the competitiveness of European capital, on the backs of wageworkers. Because of a few broken windows, the police brutally attacked our demonstration, injured dozens and arrested two hundred demonstrators. Given the brutal impact of current austerity measures for the people of Europe and the world, this is absurd. Those militant protests were directly aimed at institutions that stand for neoliberal crisis regulation and intensified exploitation. As the reaction of demonstrators showed, these attacks on our demonstration will not break our resistance.”