The opening of the new European Central Bank headquarters should not take place without protests across the board in 2014. The Blockupy Alliance has called for disruption of the opening, planned for sometime in December 2014, with a foretaste coming with a week of action in May 2014.
Around 450 Blockupy supporters met at the weekend in Frankfurt to plan their actions for the coming year . The focus of the protests will be the opening of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, the Blockupy Alliance announced at the conclusion of the planning conference on Sunday.
“An undisturbed opening ceremony will not occur,” said Blockupy spokesman Christian Linden . “We invite all those who oppose austerity politics in Europe and beyond to Frankfurt in 2014,” ran the release. An exact date for the opening ceremony does not exist yet. In addition to the protests against the ECB opening there will be a week of action in various places in May.
The conference received 450 delegates from 15 countries to discuss the planning for 2014’s actions, with the final plenary session settling on the deployment of ad hoc committees which would help coordinate actions by individual groups without suppressing initiatives. The key for all involved was to de-emphasise the link between the ECB and Frankfurt-Germany in order to place the protests on the European level in which all could feel they had a right to protest in Frankfurt – that the Euro Area’s finance capital was relevant to them. It was suggested that in order to achieve this, Blockupy Frankfurt members could travel to other countries to request assistance and solidarity and to underline that Blockupy was not simply another national protest movement with German particularities. As part of this Italian and Finnish groups proactively stepped forward to devote their time to the coordinating committees as part of a “transnationalisation” of the Blockupy Process.
The two-day Blockupy Action Conference in Frankfurt took place in line with different meetings of European movements, networks and organizations in the autumn of this year – in Barcelona, Amsterdam, Brussels and Rome. In addition to specific arrangements for Blockupy 2014, it offered the participants and participants from many European countries the opportunity to share their experiences of the growing, increasingly disobedient opposition to the Troika’s policies.
With a blockade of the ECB, civil disobedience actions across the city and a large, colourful demonstration in June this year, Blockupy Activists sent for the second time a clear signal against the impoverishment policies of the Troika. These demonstrations were met by clearly politically-motiviated violence from the police, who attempted once again to deny the right of asembly in Frankfurt’s streets.