Reason for the mass of people was certainly that in the last days the national media finally started to report about Occupy Wall Street and the 15th of october. Nevertheless the TV and newspapers seemed to be quite misinformed. They published the origin of this protest being New York, they did not mention Spain where the idea of occupying squares within Europe and this date 15O was given birth, probably to hide that they did not report about that in a proper way either. They did not report about the context to arabic spring and the march to Brussels. They did not mention that in Berlin people started in june already building up a camp on Alexanderplatz. Therefore many protesters were also not well informed about the character of the event. Nevertheless in all places the demonstrations were in great atmosphere.
In Berlin it was a thorough break with the traditional demonstration culture in germany and many of the older activists were getting a bit confused. Some organisations like attac were showing up and also some black autonoms were seen in the beginning. Fortunately, besides some banners, they did not capture the demonstration which absolutely was in the spirit of the spanish Indignados, vivid, respectful and peaceful. A general Assamblea was held with a few thousand people and because of low microphone strength, the idea of the living microphone was applied. It gave a great emotional impact when all the people in a chorus were repeating the speakers words. No main speakers were invited, but it was an open microphone. The speakers were reminded to not make advertisment for their organisation, an internet page or their believes. „We are here as single persons who want to express their inner convictions, worries and indignations.“ This Assamblea gave a very inclusive atmosphere as I have never experienced at any other traditional demonstration.
Many decentralized happenings took place in Berlin: The main demonstration in the political center was parallel to a flashmob that joined in later, and to a more party-like event in Kreuzberg. Coinciding with the general Assamblea, a few hundred people started to occupy the square in front of the parlament building. In the later afternoon and evening, more and more demonstrators joined in here. The tents were removed by the police but the first attempts to remove the people were in vain. Food was brought from a Volkskueche (kitchen for the people) and blankets from solidaric people. The atmosphere was tense but the protesters remained absolutely nonviolent, holding their Assamblea continuously to exchange their thoughts. Late in the night, the police came in with huge forces and cleared the square.
Summarizing: Germany was a great start. Many people woke up and are informed now. Follow-up happenings are planned in many cities. In Duesseldorf a square was occupied with tents. When the next camp in Berlin is set up is only a question of time.
Selected pictures from Germany and Austria:
In Austria a few thousand people were on the streets in Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, Linz.
In Vienna some hundred people met for an Assamblea with open microphone before peacefully marching through the city with lots of music and in good moods. Many leftists and alternative people were there but also some ordinary middle class people, old and young mixed. During the day it became about 2000 marchers.
The atmosphere was the one of a beginning, people start to gather and exchange, next events are planned. In the night an empty house was occupied to build up a center of communication and activities that are free from profit making and private interests.
Movie from Vienna: