A broad coalition of organizations, initiatives and networks are mobilizing to diverse days of action in Frankfurt from May 16th to 18th . The central element of the protest choreography is mass blockades on May 18, taking place after the take the squares action on May 17 and before the mass demonstration on May 19. The goal of our action on this day is to effectively disrupt the normal business activities of European Central Bank and other central actors in the financial center in Frankfurt. The parties responsible for the global politics of crisis and impoverishment are to be confronted directly in front of the doors of their decision-making headquarters with imaginative blockades and creative forms of civil disobedience. Our mobilization aims at a mix of mass and decisiveness. Thousands of people with various backgrounds and cultures of protest want to and will participate in the protest actions in arranged affinity groups or spontaneous swarming.
Thursday, May 17: Take the Squares
May 17, the day before the blockades, has the motto “take the squares”. Various spaces in the city center as well as green areas near the bank towers shall – to the extent that authorities prohibit declared activities – be appropriated for cultural-political protest events and asambleas.
As blockade groups, we will participate in the occupy activities as much as possible and attempt – to the extent that the police wants to deter us from the occupation with prohibition measures – to contribute to the implementation of the occupations. “Take the squares” is a unique element of the Blockupy mobilization. It should symbolize our solidarity with the struggles at Tahrir Square in Cairo, the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Syntagma in Athens and all Occupy camps. As we, the blockade groups, want to begin our action the following morning at 6:00 am, successful occupations in the banking district additionally provide us with a good point of departure. We want to use these spaces for blockade-training, and the occupations on May 17 can both temporally and spatially flow into the blockades on May 18.
Friday, May 18: Block the ECB
On Friday, May 18, the blockades start at 6:00 in the morning. The primary focus of this day is the European Central Bank. The ECB is not only the symbol of the crisis management of finance politics that benefits major banks – as part of the Troika, the ECB is also a direct social political actor. It plays a role in dictating austerity policies and impoverishment programs in Greece and Portugal. This is enough reason to pester this institution. Early in the morning on May 18, demonstration groups coming from multiple directions in the city center will begin to move in order to block all entrances of the Eurotower. To accomplish this, we will use mobile blockade fingers to flexibly react to police concepts and actions, and we will – if necessary – obstruct the adjacent streets in order to make it impossible to access the ECB.
The blockade groups that are making preparations have agreed on a common consensus for action (http://17to19m.blogsport.eu/2012/04/07/blockade-action-consensus/). The consensus mentions that each blockade finger will carry diverse objects and symbols in line with thematic concentrations in order to simultaneously visualize the diverse elements of our resistance against the authoritarian crisis regime. We will use shopping carts, cooking pots and hospital beds to criticize the impositions and cuts of social policies as well as policies of privatization in the healthcare system. Cardboard military tanks will symbolize the militarization of society and show the connection between war and crisis. Boats and ladders will symbolize resistance against the border regime. Giant marionettes will refer to the precarious labor relations of (not only) migrants. The protest against education policies will be present in a book block made of oversized books. We will use ventilators, stilts and yucca palms to express the struggles against global climate change. We will use barrels, white protection suits and masks to expose the countless disastrous ecological catastrophes, such as Fukushima and Deep Water Horizon. We will use all of these symbols and objects – which will also include red-and-white barrier tape and woolen thread – in order to effectively set up and hold onto
substantive blockade points.
Both in the time before and on the day of the blockade itself, we will publicly communicate our the subject matter and goals of our actions – to persons who work in the bank towers who will not be able to reach their places of work and to all persons who will not be able to use the streets and particular subways and other local trains that are blocked. The transportation authorities will be informed prior to the actions that the stations surrounding the ECB and in the banking district will be affected by a “strike from elsewhere” as well as why this will be so. The blockade of the ECB will affect other banking and business centers in this district. Depending on the strength of the mobilization, the call to blockupy should be spread as early as possible to further actors of global exploitation.
With blockades and occupations, go-ins, encirclements and diverse forms of creative action, we wish to and we will transform the financial center for this entire day into a colorful and loud zone of protest.
May 19: Mass demonstration
On the day after the blockades, May 19, the mass demonstration will take place. For this and for all the action days, mobilization is occurring on a Europe-wide scale. As blockade groups we will participate in this demonstration with all of our symbols and thematic forms of expression. We are hoping for a resolute demonstration that points to our (hopefully) successful occuptions and blockades on the day before and send a strong signal of transnational solidarity. We are using our symbols to express that we understand the collaborative mobilization of Blockupy Frankfurt as a catalyst and demand to transform the unendurable conditions in intensified struggles in our daily
The Blockade Working Group of Blockupy Frankfurt, April 1, 2012
Action consensus for the blockade of the ECB and financial center on May 18
… are an action within the European action days against the crisis dictatorship in Frankfurt from May 16-19. By occupation of the squares, diverse interventions, public
events and demonstrations, we are jointly taking our protest and resistance to the street.
We declare ourselves
… in solidarity with all those who share with us the goal of practicing resistance against authoritarian crisis management and the politics of the Troika, in order to defend the
social rights of the employed, precarized, and unemployed in Europe.
The effective and mass blockade
… of the banking district of Frankfurt am Main on May 18, 2012 is what we, together with thousands of activists in the action Blockupy Frankfurt, will do in order to shut
down Frankfurt as a financial location for one day. In this action, we are sending a clear sign of international solidarity against the authoritarian crisis management and
impoverishment politics of the Troika – consisting of the European Central Bank (ECB), the EU Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
By preventing bankers and employees from going to work, we are intervening the norms of daily capitalist business and blocking it. We want to do this in a calm and careful
manner by putting ourselves in its way and staying there. The employees are not our opposition – in contrast: we are helping them to have an extra free day by our action.
Our form of action is mass blockades which will consist of people. In order to illustrate our protest, we will create thematically accented blockades. These will, for example,
symbolize our precarious daily life and impoverishment, the connection of crisis and war, escape and migration, and our struggles against exploitation and racism. For this purpose, we will have objects and other blockade resources with us, such as, for example, hospital beds and shopping carts, ladders and rubber boats, objects from facilities, cardboard tanks, banners, woolen nets and similar objects. Together with many different people, we will carry out our action in mass, publicly and announced.
During the action, we want to create a situation that is transparent for all persons blockading, and in which the action participants look out for one another in solidarity and
support each other.
Police forces will attempt to put us off from our plans, but we are not focusing on them, because our targets are the ECB, the German Federal Bank, Deutsche Bank and
Commerzbank as well as firms and companies who run the impoverishment politics of the Troika and profit from it.
Where it is possible, we will flow through or around police chains. We will use our bodies to hold our blockades as long as we want. It is true that we will not be able to
exclude a meeting with the police, but no escalation will come from our side. We will claim our right to physical integrity with materials to protect our bodies.
Arrive in time, create reference groups and participate in action trainings, delegates plena and asambleas to prepare yourselves for the action!
Comment: this is the action consensus for the mass blockade of the ECB and financial center on May 18 and not for the total choreography of the action days.