Sunday, October 23, 2011
Thousands staged demonstrations against the power of banks and for greater democracy in German cities on Saturday, while several thousand Spanish teachers and parents marched in the capital Madrid to protest against austerity measures. In Berlin the second edition of the so-called 'Occupy Berlin' protest against the financial system drew several hundred demonstrators to a march which ended at the Reichstag building, Germany's parliament, on Saturday afternoon. Protesters chanted slogans against banks as they walked past Berlin landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate. After the massive turnout at anti-bank protests last weekend, Berlin police were out in force this Saturday but no serious incidents were reported. A similar demonstration was held in Frankfurt, where several thousand people protested against the power of the banks and for greater democracy. The demonstration was organised by 'Occupy Frankfurt' and the international pro-democracy, anti-globalisation movement 'attac'. The participants marched from the centre of Frankfurt to the European Central Bank building, and a rally was held in front of the Deutsche Bank building. Meanwhile in Spain, several thousand teachers marched in Madrid under banners reading: "Our hopes for the future were never so gloomy" and "For sale", referring to cuts in public education that they say will lead to fewer teachers being employed. Teachers went on strike in Madrid on Thursday, the sixth day of stoppages since classes began last month. The protests have been triggered by local authority orders requiring teachers to teach an extra two hours of class per week, a measure that will lead to fewer teachers being hired this year. Education is run at the regional level in Spain and the order was instigated by local governments controlled by the centre-right Popular Party.