How a great start of the day ended in a fizzle
The brand new 183m high and 1,3 billion (!) costing building of the European Central Bank (ECB) had its grand opening on Wednesday the 18th of march. Around a hundred politicians and economists (like ECB-president Mario Draghi, the Hessische Minister of Economy Tarek al-Wazir and the mayor of Frankfurt Peter Feldmann [SPD – socialdemocrats!]) came to see Mario Draghi cut a blue ribbon for the opening ceremony.
Outside the megalomaniac building were since approximately 6 o’clock in the morning the streets of Frankfurt-East covered in thick black smoke. 350 arrested protestors, 200 wounded, 7 burned out police cars and 94 wounded officers (!), characterized this fourth Blockupy event this day.
Hundreds of autonomen from West- and South-Europe, went into the city in small groups of 50 to a 100 man, traditionally dressed as Black Bloc (or like around 350 Italian autonomen in blue as a part of the five finger tactic this day, dressed in Viva la Commune’ shirts – “blue autonomen” who seemed at least just as dangerous as all other militants!). Glass from tram- and bus stops and other buildings (like banks) were shattered, roadblocks were raised, through this the signal was given that the violence of the banking system towards the peoples of Europe is no longer tolerated and that this violence can only be answered with violence. The State-apparatus, consisting of around 8000 cops, could count on a rain of stones, pyro’s and bottles (filled with corrosive acid) and other projectiles. It was even managed by German autonomen to break free their ‘eingekesselte’ (confined) Italian comrades by unleashing hard attacks on the cops.
The fire department who wanted to extinguish and clear away the burning blockades could also count on heavy resistance from militants – Let the ECB feel the discontent about their work in their own homebase!
So the message was clear: Against the Austerity politics – Against the ECB, against the Troika!
Also a Dutch delegation of activists, who are part of the European Anti Capitalist Network (ACN/AKN), traveled to Frankfurt am Main to participate in this grandly announced protest to break down the infrastructure surrounding the ECB.
The motivations of the ACN-delegation were:
– The ECB – as part of the larger Troika – is a ruthless oppressor of the working class worldwide;
– Stop the loans of finance capital to governments in other countries to demand liberal economic reforms;
– Stop these demands of freezing wages, pension magnifications, social breakdown, etc.;
– Stop this form of ‘Verelendung’ of the proletariat, next to the daily exploitation of surplus!
It was rightly that, for instance hundreds of Greek activists traveled to release their social discontent against the ECB (as the symbol of German aggression against the Greek people).
A sign that not everybody falls for the ‘leftwing’ political trick of the bourgeoisie –
With this short introduction about the morning the most militant part of the Blockupy protest came to an end. The militant actions of autonomen that in a destructive manner came out of “nothing” in the morning, seem to have disappeared at the beginning of the midday as fast as they started. The city guerilla had done its job. The ECB was warned. Where some small groups of militant and support still ventured in the streets of Frankfurt, they were hunted down and driven away. This way the tide of militant resistance slowly faded away from the streets.
However, in the centre of Frankfurt am Main around 8000 protestors still peacefully demonstrated under the warm sun. There seemed to be a good atmosphere – just like the organization of Blockupy, the City Council Frankfurt / M and the cops liked to see. With passivity the discontent against the contemporary European politics was shown.
It was easy for the cops to surround the Kundgebung and controlling everything and anyone, according to the book/program.
Therefore the whole motley mix of Blockupy protestors was reduced immediately to a notable petit-bourgeois phenomenon again. Also this time Blockupy seemed to be a mass event (around 8000 protestors came together in the centre, 10.000 on the whole day), which was accessible for broad layers of the society. Anarchists, communists, students, LGTB, vegans, Anti-Germans, Antifa, anti-globalists, anti-imperialists, alternative subcultures, etc. – all of these groups could uncritically intertwine. Completely different ideologies constantly overlapped each other. However, how can participants with EU- and Israel-flags be reconciled with other ideologies present, such as anti-EU politics and liberation-movements politics!?
Which direction this movement should go?
More interesting this day was the Union-demonstration of the DGB further into town. With around 3000 protestors (10 times as much as the DGB had expected), this demo gave a more ‘working class politics’ to the Blockupy concept. “For us Unions it is unacceptable that the Troika scrabbles in the CLA-politics”, the DGB-boss of Frankfurt, Harald Fiedler, stated. “Therefore we are solidary with our fellow workers in Greece, Italy and Spain”. His remark that because of the violence this message faded is ofcourse debatable.
However, some things can be better analyzed and clarified about Blockupy:
– Not only the finance capital (read; Troika) needs to be attacked by Blockupy. This is just a part of capitalism (just as industrial capital also is);
– Not the rebellion of a vague broad substratum in society needs to be propagated: not a peoples revolution. This can only lead towards a bourgeois revolution;
– There must be clear militant workers mass presence, a clear working class politics standpoint needs to be taken.
– Only the working class can overthrow the current capitalist social relations, towards socialism;
– Also the Unions and revolutionary cells need to be more anchored in the companies and working places. Transport and construction just went through in the rest of Frankfurt / M! No work was laid down!
– A bridge from a broad-based Movement as Blockupy towards a militant working class movement can be the only way towards revolution!
Nothing seems to be a problem at Blockupy, everything can be mixed together. Regardless whether it excludes each other or not. Except ofcourse the presence of anticapitalist ‘neo-Nazi’s’, which is turned into one big drama.
In short: The militant clashes between autonomen and the cops must be applauded: Class against Class! However, a mass movement which is not directed by a ‘Workers Vanguard’ is not revolutionary:
Towards the General Strike!
Break down the Capitalist infrastructure!
All power to the workers!