Anti-Capitalist protests held across Europe
All across southern Europe major demonstrations have erupted. Turkey, Portugal, Spain… Elsewhere, in Germany (Frankfurt) demonstrators protesting against the European Community Bank
clashed with riot police; in London anti-fascists successfully blocked a BNP (British National Party) march to the Cenotaph. Above is a very graphic video from Istanbul showing an armoured police vehicle mowing down a protester and killing him. In Madrid, thousands marched against austerity; similarly in Lisbon. Summaries, plus photos, are below…
Latest news is that the police have withdrawn from the war zone of Istanbul, though politicians are still threatening to go ahead and build the shopping mall on the park (the catalysts for five days of protests). Last night people began to celebrate the police retreat. However, the toll was high with over 1000 arrests, 100 people injured and reports of between two and five people dead. Police withdrew from Taksim Square early on Saturday evening and by late that night thousands of people wer
e celebrating. Inside the park, it was like a carnival.
Yesterday the Turkish Government cut access to Twitter and Facebook. Telecomix and others provided alternative access, including advice on use of VPNs and Tor, etc. There was also a total media blackout in Turkey on what was happening. Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has vowed that he will not allow the demonstrations to challenge his rule and threatened to bring in hundreds of thousands of supporters to fight the protesters if necessary.
From one blog , posted just a couple of hours ago: “This is not yet Tahrir.
But demonstrations on the two continents of Istanbul, Asia and Europe at three in the morning, that is decidedly unusual and gives one a taste of Tahrir. This is not yet a revolution, but it is not only tear gas that marks the air in Istanbul. It is also a scent of revolutionary aspirations”.
Yesterday, Portugal saw the biggest mobilization since the 1974 revolution. Hundreds of thousands of people came to the streets to protest the new package of austerity measures being imposed by the troika. Three people have been arrested for separate incidents. One of those arrested was caught in possession of explosives in front of the IMF offices in Lisbon.
There is an uncertain number of injuries due to an attack from the riot police in front of parliament. The mass demo, named “Fuck the troika, we want our lives back” was called by students, artists, musicians and the main union CGTP (General Confederation of Portuguese Workers). Over 500.000 people marched through the streets of Lisbon and Porto, according to the organizers. 30 cities in Portugal saw similar demonstrations with people coming out in numbers to fight back the troika.
An estimated 2,500 supporters of the anti-capitalist group “Blockupy” demonstrated in the German financial capital of Frankfurt on Friday, blocking access to the European Central Bank (ECB) in protest of euro-crisis austerity policies. Banging on drums and carrying signs that read slogans such as “Block the ECB — Fight Capitalism and Austerity” and “Humanity before Profit,” the demonstrators cut off roads leading into the downtown financial district.
In London around 50 members of the British National Party staged a demonstration. Their objective was to reach the Cenotaph. They did not make it. They were vastly outnumbered by anti-fascists. Around 60 anti-fascists were arrested.
In Madrid thousands blocked the streets in protest of the latest austerity measures. The demonstration was largely peaceful. Madrid has seen demonstrations of this size regularly over the last few months. They will continue until the Government caves in to demands.
More photos here
The day the people of Turkey rose up — in pictures
Police forced to retreat from Istanbul’s Taksim square as protests against the authoritarian neoliberalism of Erdogan’s proto-Islamist government grow.
Demonstrators across Europe have embarked on protests against government austerity measures.
Protesters took to the streets in Spain, Portugal and Greece on Saturday to direct their anger against the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) while in Germany, demonstrators rallied for the second day in succession.
Protesters say they are demonstrating
against the institutions’ role in pushing for austerity cutbacks as a way to fight the continent’s debt crisis.
A spokesman for the ECB said the bank remained in operation, without providing details about where its employees were working.
Along with the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, the ECB is part of the so-called troika that monitors compliance with the conditions of bailout loans negotiated by the governments of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
Those conditions include spending cuts and tax increases aimed at reducing debt. The measures, however, have also worsened recessions and unemployment.
After the ECB demonstration, several hundred protesters moved to Deutsche Bank’s nearby headquarters.
Their spokesman Roland Suess said the demonstration was a success: “We wanted to blockade the ECB and we did that with more than 3,000 pe0ple.”
The Blockupy movement includes people who participated in the Occupy movement which protested against the role of global capitalism by camping out in cities in a number of countries, as well as critics of globalisation and embers of left-wing organisations.
The unemployment rate across the 17 European countries that use the euro hit a record 12.2 percent in April, and the number of unemployed is on track to reach 20 million by year’s end.
Police halt Blockupy march in downtown FrankfurtAcross Europe,People ‘Rising Up’ Againt Austerity and the ‘Profiteers of Crisis’ (rinf.com)Thousands of anti-capitalists block access to European Central Bank in Frankfurt (rt.com)
Anti-austerity protesters march in Frankfurt (thelocal.de)
Anti-Austerity Protests: Spain, Germany, Portugal (abcnews.go.com)
Blockupy hold anti-austerity protests in Frankfurt; surround the ECB; against austerity and food price speculation (maxkeiser.com)
Scuffles as Germany pushes back against austerity (telegraph.co.uk)