Police Detain Anti-Austerity Protesters in Frankfurt
Frankfurt, May 18 (RHC)-- German police say they detained 150 demonstrators in Frankfurt on Thursday for defying a ban on their protest against austerity policies implemented to tackle the Euro zone debt crisis.
Over one thousand activists gathered in the center of Germany's financial capital despite the ban on the demonstration, part of a four-day-long "Blockupy" protest due to run until Saturday.
The protesters are angry at the misery they say governments are inflicting on many people with their response to the crisis, which has intensified since inconclusive elections in Greece this month fuelled concerns about its future in the Euro zone.
Thursday's protest followed a legal scrap between the activists and authorities over whether the demonstrations should be allowed to go ahead. A court on Monday gave the go-ahead for a rally on Wednesday and protests on Saturday but ruled against them taking place on the other days.
On Wednesday, police removed protesters from outside the European Central Bank's Frankfurt headquarters. The ECB is at the center of the policy response to the crisis and has faced calls from politicians, investors and protestors to do more. The central bank says it has already headed off a major credit crunch with unprecedented funding operations in December and February and is calling on governments to act.
Frankfurt police have drafted in reinforcements from other German states to cope with the protests, with some 5,000 police said ready to be deployed. Police said they stopped three busses carrying demonstrators arriving from Berlin just outside Frankfurt on Thursday and prevented them from entering the city.