Attack on Democracy – But Thousands Resist Peacefully
Despite drastic restrictions of the right of assembly, massive presence of police forces, encirclements, arbitrary arrests, dispersal orders and unprecedented criminalisation and fear-mongering, Bloccupy Frankfurt was a success: On 17 and 18 May, the people conquered many spaces in the bankers’ city of Frankfurt such as St Paul’s Square in front of St Paul’s Church – the location of the first German parliament which was democratically elected –, so as to make visible their protest against the power of the banks and the destructive dictates to cut spending which the federal government wants to impose in Europe, assisted by major parts of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Greens.
Both inhabitants and visitors of Frankfurt were appalled by finding their city in a state of occupation thanks to the Christian Democrats and the Greens who had thus suspended democratic rights laid down in the German Constitution. The Greens will have a lot to answer when asked how they want to explain this massive attack on democracy to their voters. In this context, the reaction to the events in Frankfurt of S. Lemke, the Green party federal executive secretary, is particularly unsavoury and hypocritical: “The right to demonstrate is one of the highest goods of democracy”.
On 19 May 20,000 people from all over Europe demonstrated in Frankfurt – with strong participation of the LINKE, including many Bundestag members and members of the party executive board. They all protested against the European Central Bank’s impoverishing policies of redistribution and against burdening the citizens of Europe with the gigantic costs of the bail-out programmes for the banks. To the continuing anti-Greek propaganda in both the media “regulated by public law” and the others – which borders on incitement to ethnic hatred –, they responded with international solidarity, “We won’t be played off against each other!” Expressions of the new resistance against the brutal policy of cuts which in Europe is promoted by Federal Chancellor Merkel in particular, are the election results in France and Greece where the partner parties of the LINKE, Front de Gauche and SYRIZA, met with great approval. Also in the upcoming elections in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, a strengthening of the power of the Left is expected.
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation helped the Bloccupy-alliance with the organisation and also in a number of other ways, with conferences and information, both of them of a strongly improvised nature due to the bans. Precious logistic support was also given by the executive board of the students of Frankfurt University and the German Trade Union Federation on whose premises, among others, people’s kitchens were established to feed the activists from all over Europe.
The peaceful dynamics of Bloccupy is yet to spread further: First at the LINKE party feast on 16 July 2012, at events such as “Europe is Plunging into the Crisis – the German Left between Privilege and Protest” by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation as well as “Europe is Mobilizing against the Power of the Banks”.