“Wendland am Main” – Blockupy to return

One week after the Blockupy protests the Blockupy Alliance has concluded that the event was on balance a success – despite the ban. So much so, that the activists have announced their return to Frankfurt, and to turn it into what the German left call a “Wendland”, referring to the Free Republic of Wendland, a protest camp established in Gorleben, Germany on 3 May 1980 to protest against the establishment of a radioactive waste dump there.

Although almost all Blockupy actions were recently banned by the authorities – the organisers will not be discouraged: “We hqve decided in the alliance that this goes on,” said the regional chairman of the Left Party (Die Linke), Ulrich Wilken, on Thursday in Wiesbaden. In the autumn, a congress critical of capitalism in Frankfurt is being planned.

Wilken expects the city to pay compensation for the bans it imposed on the events planned for public spaces. If not, Blockupy will proceed as before to apply for events to take place at 12 places and then try to erect tents there.

Despite the ban on almost all protest, thousands of protestors came to Frankfurt. The highlight on Saturday came when more than 25,000 people demonstrated peacefully against the power of the banks. This demo was the only event that had been approved by the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht).

Referring to the Blockupy protests, Wilken strongly criticised the conduct of the police. The fact that nearly 1,500 people – without further investigation by a judge – were put in custody, in illegal detention, amounted to a bureaucratic theft of freedom, said Wilken. “Protests against developing fatal social and democratic errors cannot be forbidden,” continued Wilken, “be it in Madrid, Athens, or Frankfurt – the people are defending themselves against austerity dictatorship an the power of the banks. That is the joyous result of the experience of the last few days.”

Die Linke are joined in the Blockupy Alliance by several groups, including the Interventionist Left, the Attac Network, and the Young Greens. The Interventionist Left will continue to “make Frankfurt a Wendland of anti-capitalism,” a spokesman said, referring to the decades-long protests against nuclear waste transportation in Lower Saxony.

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