Some 10,000 demonstrators encircled the banking sector of Frankfurt in Germany last Saturday. The atmosphere was exuberant. Another 8,000 took to the streets in Berlin.
Around 5,000 had marched in Frankfurt the previous night. Among them were many children, since 11 November is St Martin’s Day when children traditionally take part in lantern processions.
These were the fourth and fifth demonstrations in Frankfurt within a month, each one mobilising thousands. They all ended at the Occupy Frankfurt camp by the European Central Bank.
For the first couple demonstrations the movement prohibited trade union banners and those of political organisations. But last Saturday’s protest saw a generous sprinkling of trade union flags and a series of union officials spoke.
The camp has received tremendous solidarity. Workers at the modern opera, which is right next to the camp, offered the use of their canteen, their toilet facilities and a meeting room for debates—all against the wishes of the directors.
Workers at a nearby bank allow campers the use of their showers to freshen themselves up. Donations in all shapes keep pouring in. For older demonstrators like myself it’s one of the most invigorating experiences ever.