Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thugs, Hooligans and Blockupy: Frankfurt

Remember, I write this essay/blog as an American, with the view of an American, and most readers are non-German.  So maybe I have a slightly different prospective on things.

Yesterday, the Blockupy riots started up in Frankfurt.  It had been building up for a couple of days, in anticipation of the grand opening of the European Central Bank building on the west end of Frankfurt.

The general score by the end of Wednesday?

While some Blockupy folks hyped up 20,000 attendees....the cops put it more at 10,000.  I noticed the news media....particularly HR (state-run regional network for Hessen) tried on several occasions to use the 20,000 number. But the cops stated it on several occasions that it wasn't more than 10,000.

Near the 7PM period, when HR tried to continue telling the story and report the mass crowd at the Opera Haus.....looking over the video....I'd say there were no more than 2,000 people around the structure. Most of the crowd had drifted away.

Most of the rioters from Frankfurt?  No, that was part of the amusing side of the story.  The news media covered the midnight arrival of several thousand riot-players at the central station in Frankfurt.  I'd take a guess than more than seventy-percent of the 10,000 were non-Frankfurt folks.

As dawn arrived in the city....the Blockupy folks started their games on the west end of Frankfurt.  Molotov cocktails and cobblestones were the primary weapons.  Private cars burned.....police vehicles of private business operations broken....damages will go into the tens of millions.

Ninety-four cops were injured to some degree, with the police reporting at least 500 rioters arrested.

The denial factor?  Well, toward the end of the day.....a press conference with the organizers was held and they were fairly happy about the turn-out but then said the destruction wasn't part of their plan and some folks who were not part of their organization misbehaved and caused damage. sounded like the good Muslim versus bad Muslim theme.....or the good Nazi versus bad Nazi theme.  Good Blockupy versus bad Blockupy.

Version one of the group is simply the talkers.....guys who run around and talk anti-capitalism and political ambitions of a leftist nature.  Version two?  Guy and gals who mostly act as anarchists and get hyped up on confrontation and damage.

Both versions think that the public buys off on their tactics in one way or another.  That's usually not the case though.  In most societies and civilizations....violent acts turn off voters and sour public reaction.  You end up losing more than you gain.  When you look at Gandhi and MLK, peaceful protests win support more than violent protests.

The chief theme of the Blockupy players.  At the heart of the matter is the central banking structure (not just Europe) which is a tool (in the eyes of the protest movement) for harming third-world countries and limiting the lives of people without substance.  In is the root of evil.  So capitalism is more of a problem than a solution in this theory of sorts.

If you peel pack the layers....Blockupy will say that the bulk of Greece problems today.....goes back to the banking strategy in place.  Same for the previous Cyprus episode.  One might ask if Greeks were stupid enough to spend more money than they took in via tax revenue, but that would just confuse people.

Regionally, Blockupy will say the rental housing issue is also attached to the bankers and the government.  Presently, rental apartment units across German urban areas (especially for Frankfurt) are being bought, and put into renovation status after years of decay.  What happens at the end of the renovation?  Rent prices more than thirty-percent typically.  Blockupy leadership has hinted on occasions that the regional governments need to step in and halt this type of behavior.

One of the odd things from the HR coverage last night was the west end discussion of Frankfurt.  It was a two-minute video piece on the spiral downwards over the past decade and how this ECB building structure was hurting the area of Frankfurt, rather than helping it.  Empty store fronts, neighbors talking of the old days, etc.  It was an odd discussion.  I've been around Frankfurt for over thirty years.  The west end of town isn't the only area with negativity growing....there are five or six neighborhoods in Frankfurt which have shifted in a negative way.  To say the ECB structure is the root of this?  It's a comical way of using journalism in some fashion as a tool for convincing people of a fraudulent story.

The bottom line?  Once the Blockupy thugs crossed the line and did damage on personal cars and property....they weren't on any humanitarian or good-will theme.  When you looked at the video-clip of a family car burnt, and a crispy-blacken child's safety seat in the back.....they lost their positive image.  They were hooligans.  Destroying subway car windows, public transportation structures, restaurant windows?  Thug behavior.  By utilizing the news media and trying to put a mass movement story out as a popular thing?  It just doesn't work.  They need to go back and exam Ghandi's strategy.

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