As expected, Frankfurt Blockupy-ban used to clear Occupy camp

Occupy Frankfurt Frankfurt

The activists must “temporarily” evacuate their camp in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt next week. The reason for this declaration of Frankfurt’s Public Order Administration is the upcoming Blockupy protests – the one’s the same administration have already banned from even taking place.

The Occupy movement needs to evacuate their camp before the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt during the critical days of anti-austerity protests in the coming week . “They must leave their tents,” said Andrea Brandl from the Public Order department yesterday (Friday). The police have decided that the location of the Occupy tents by the ECB will be the focus of a restricted zone in which the proposed Blockupy protests may not take place.

The deputy leader of the Left Party (Die Linke), Sahra Wagenknecht, and Die Linke-Hessian state chairman Ulrich Wilken said in a joint statement that this was
the criminalisation of a demonstrably peaceful protest and a politically motivated ban. “Every means is being used to prevent the protests of every generation against austerity-politics before the ECB” they said.

The city has banned “Blockupy” because they fear massive threats to security and public order. As if to punish the people of Frankfurt for refusing his overtures to become mayor in recent elections, Boris Rhein (CDU), who is the state of Hesse’s interior minister, has been cheerleading every attempt to shut down free thought in the Eurozone’s financial capital. This is hardly surprising from a Wiesbaden government which, in order to secure the international status of Frankfurt as a haven for capital, has repeatedly ignored Frankfurt residents complaining about the noise from traffic into Frankfurt’s huge airport. This reached a head in the mayoral campaign when Boris Rhein failed to show up at an Anti-Aircraft-Noise barbecue organised by residents of Frankfurt’s worst-effected (and very middle-class) area Sachsenhausen South. The same residents promptly voted for a single issue candidate they had chosen, before filing behind the socialist candidate in the run-off against Rhein.

The use of ecclesiastic laws to shut down Blockupy was discussed on Thursday, and now Rhein and his supporters have been borrowing from the Anglo-Saxon book of dissent-management by wheeling out disgruntled shopkeepers fearing for their windows, and even postponing a supposedly popular festival in the so-called “Fressgasse” until after the protests. The fact that the same wine festival is on a street which links the financial district and old opera to one of the main commuter stations tells the reader all she needs to know about its “popularity”. As an aside, the street that links the financial district to the other main commuter station, Kaiserstrasse, is also the main artery of the red light district. Your Crit in Frankfurt continues to be amazed by the number of people who find this contiguity surprising.

A dozen or so cases arguing against the view that the protests will be necessarily violent are before the administrative courts. After a non-public hearing date with both parties this weekend, the court will decide on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. Then the Hessian state administrative court in Kassel could become involved on appeal.

Despite the legal battle Attac called on all citizens to join the international protest against the European crisis policy on Ascension weekend in Frankfurt. “In the days of action we want to make our opposition to the neo-liberal, authoritarian political crisis absolutely clear” Tine Steiniger, spokesman for Attac, said. “No violence will follow from our actions”.

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