(The following plan was agreed upon by the blockade working group, which was openly formed by participants of the European action conference, February 24-26 in Frankfurt.)
Action plan for the blockade on May 18, 2012
in the financial center of Frankfurt
and participation of the blockade groups on May 17 and 19
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 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 lives.
The Blockade Working Group of Blockupy Frankfurt, April 1, 2012