Protests linked to America's “Occupy Wall Street” movement are scheduled to take place this weekend in several German cities. Are the bank-bashing demonstrations about to go global?
MUNICH -- For weeks in New York, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement has been protesting the power of the banks and social inequality. The movement has now gone European – in fact, global: on Saturday, Oct. 15, people in nearly 50 German cities and some 70 countries will gather to make their voices heard against the financial markets, "the system," and more.
On Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, groups like "Real Democracy Now," "Occupy," "We Are The 99%," "United for Global Change," and "Anonymous," are calling for Oct. 15 to be a day of world protest.
"We‘re part of an international democratic movement, it's a global thing," says Mike Nagler, a coordinator for "Attac Deutschland." "This concerns all of us. We all want more say. That's why we're giving people the chance to step up to the podium and speak -- so we can air different ways of doing things." Those "different ways' could include nationalizing all banks, stopping cuts to social benefits and more direct democracy, according to Nagler.
Another group protesting on Oct. 15 is "Occupy Frankfurt," which is affiliated with "Occupy Germany." At least 400 activists connected to the Frankfurt group and to "Attac Deutschland" are expected to march to the headquarters of the European Central Bank. Leftists, Greens and other political groups are also expected to join the protesters around the country.
But neither organizers nor authorities are venturing to say just how many people will show up. In Berlin, where protests are expected to be fairly substantial, the police say so far that 350 are expected at one demonstration, 1,000 at another. However, 12 protest groups are listed on Facebook under "Occupy Berlin."
As of Thursday, 100 people had registered to participate, and 2,500 had clicked "like." Protests are also expected in Hamburg and Munich. "We're not talking about mass demonstrations," says Nagler. "But we know for sure it won't be a flop."
Also unknown is if the demonstrations in Germany or elsewhere will turn into a sit-in protest action in the New York style. However, Frankfurt authorities say that one of the "Occupy Frankfurt" demonstrations is supposed to last "for an unspecified period of time" and that a handful of demonstrators intend to set up "two or three tents' across from the European Central Bank.
Read the full original article in German by Lydia Bentsche
Photo – NLNY
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