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400 anti-capitalist protesters arrested in Frankfurt

Boris Roessler / EPA

German anti-riot police carry away a protester and her stuffed animal during protests in Frankfurt on Friday.

Police in Frankfurt, Germany, arrested about 400 "Blockupy" protesters Friday for defying a ban on anti-austerity demonstrations.

Several hundred people took to the streets to protest the European Union's austerity measures and the power of banks, as part of a four-day anti-capitalist "Blockupy" protest due to run until Saturday.

 According to Der Spiegel, around 5,000 police were on the ground backed up by water canons. There was no violence.

The protesters are angry at the misery they say governments are inflicting on people with their response to the crisis, which has intensified since inconclusive elections in Greece this month fueled concerns about its future in the euro zone.

"The Greek austerity measures are making Greece go kaputt even faster," said protester Leonard Loch, 37, from Hamburg. 

 The "Blockupy 'alliance criticized the massive police presence in Frankfurt, which is the seat of the European Central Bank and the largest financial center in continental Europe. The demonstrators were "all prudent and were holding back," Frauke Distelrath, spokesperson for the activist group Attac, told Die Welt

A court on Monday authorized a rave dance party organized by protesters on Wednesday and protests scheduled for Saturday, but ruled against them taking place on the other days. 

On Wednesday, police peacefully removed demonstrators from outside the ECB's Frankfurt headquarters and detained 150 demonstrators on Thursday for defying a ban on protests.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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