Frankfurt Athens: One crisis, one struggle

Demozug in Richtung Bankentürme

Your struggles are in our best interest!

On Wednesday evening, some 200 protesters marched through the city of Frankfurt, Germany, in order to express their solidarity with the struggling people on the streets of Greece.

Partly in the pouring rain, the procession went one and a half hour through downtown Frankfurt making station at various points of interest, including the European Central Bank ECB), the state-driven kfw Bank and the Greek consulate. Trenchant speeches at the particular stops reinforced the criticism against the prevailing political circumstances and conditions.


The demonstration, which has been called to the eve of the newly general strike in Greece, enjoyed a quite eclectic participation. Beside many anarchists, and activists of the antinational 'Krisenbündnis' of Frankfurt, there were also many students, organized communists, and members of attac and various trade unions.


An answer to the class war from above


"Of course it would be better if hundreds of thousands of people in Germany took the social struggles to the streets as well," said a representative of FAU-IAA Frankfurt. There would be thousands of good reasons for a social uprising, and certainly not just in Greece.


Multi-billionaire Warren Buffet said in 2005: "Yes, there is class war, but it is conducted by my class, and we are going to win!"

As long as people in Germany wouldn't understand this, the representative of the anarcho-syndicalist grassroots union said, "we can just wish the best to the striking workers, retirees and the rebellious youth in Greece, because their strikes, the general strike and their struggles are in our best interest just as well!"


Nationalist sentiments stabilizing the system


An orator of Kritisches Kollektiv also harshly criticized the smear campaign against Greece, which was fueled by German media and politics. At the same time he pointed to the fact, how susceptible people in Germany were for nationalist resentments. Greece-bashing had completely superseded criticisms of the the political system in many circles of society.


While a radical criticism of capitalism would indeed open the possibility of a liberated society, at the same time it were just as necessary to combat regressive tendencies in society. "The more exacerbated the crisis gets, the more important is the battle against a recent wave of nationalism."


Being thankful for the "financial aid package"? Against the politics of pauperization in Greece.


An activist of the social revolutionary 'Krisenbündnis' severely criticized the so called "financial aid package", which the people in Greece would not have any reason to be thankful for. The money would flow only in return for "painful, brutal reforms" which were especially painful for the workers, retirees and the poor.


On the other hand, German banks and the German armament industry would massively profit by the financial aid for Greece, because their credits and arm orders were safeguarded. At the same time, Germany had been shirking from paying some 50 billion Euro of reparation payment for German war crimes.


Unhierarchical organisation proved – now does the wave of solidarity go on?


In a quite relaxed mood, the protesters got in touch with many pedestrians. Especially around the main station some even joined the speaking choirs, while most others at least watched the scenery with some interest. Besides "Antinational solidarity", "Anticapitalista" and some Greek slogans, the demonstrators often chanted "Social struggles in Athens – attack the system here as well", even Bert Brecht's song "Arbeitereinheitsfront" came to unusual fame.


At the demonstration which again wasn't announced to the authorities, the concept of an unhierarchical organisation "from the grassroots" has proved to work well. The solidarity circle which had spontaneously emerged from a panel discussion at FAU, invited all interested people to pass on the appointment and to equally contribute to the demonstration.

Police brutality was omitted this time. While the state servants kept intervening in the route, they finally mostly regulated the traffic.


After the solidarity demonstrations in Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin and now in Frankfurt there is hope that people get together in many more cities of Germany, in order to accompany the recent general strike with an apparent wave of solidarity.