Frankfurt, entry door to Europe -at least for the eyes of which we were born in our so beautiful and chaotic South America- is a city of lies. One walks along the streets and has the feeling of being surrounded by actors on a set. Perfectly tidy, they follow the choreography of a play that speaks about order, cleaning and harmony.
Cars, buildings, machines, trains, parks, buses and bicycles are also main players. Even the warm climate, almost diving in the river, seems to be an accomplice. Only then, I wonder if what I am experiencing is real or only a parody of Aldous Huxley´s novel.
It is clear that Frankfurt is also famous for the excellent sausages, especially the frankfurter. And as the rest of Germany, all citizens take a bath in lakes of beer, replacing water, as source of life, for the drink make from malt. But despite his gastronomic preferences, the city -the financial German capital, spills capitalism from his pores, reflected in his luxury cars, endless skyscrapers, and pretty restaurants.
Although Berlin is the capital of the Country, Frankfurt is considered the financial and economic capital of the European Union, with the European Central Bank, the Deutsche Börse AG and the Deutsche Bunsdesbank. With more than 370 banks, worldwide share stocks are bought and sold every day. In fact, in 2001, it was considered the richest city of the continent. Right here, in Frankfurt, the Euro´s destination is handled.
However, a change began to take shape last October in Frankfurt´s core: a group of people decided to restrain the voracious capitalism and, as a protest vote, camped in quite precarious conditions, in W.Brandt Platz, opposite to the European Central Bank building and the huge Euro´s monument. Today, with a temporary government permission, they are already more than 300 people who meet in daily assemblies, earning the title of Germans activists.
Germans, Italians, Russians and even an Argentinian lady shape the picturesque landscape in Frankfurt´s downtown. Posters, flags, rags and banners decorate the protest. The contrast is horrific: from an innocent tram crossing in front of a smart building -that really looks more like a highly gifted building- to the organic plants in the entrance of the park; from the polished Gucci moccasins and Brioni suits, to barefoot; from the newest BMW to old broken-down bicycles; from the comfortable conformity to the most necessary claim. In the camping something is latent, about to burst.
But in spite of the fact that they all justify the measure, many –in private- do not completely agree with the forms. In the inside of the “demonstration” (as they call it), several complain about many attitudes that tend to refer as racists and violent. Aggressions were reported and some activists should move his tents inside the park. Many accuse that there are people who live there only because they do not have a place to leave, others say that in assemblies a lot is said, but very little is done in practice, or that in spite of the good intentions there is no concrete plan.
The certain thing is that, in spite of the obvious and unavoidable differences, in Europe’s economic and financial center, awareness continues to grow against the crisis generated by the ruthless capitalism, against banks´ speculation and looking for a new alternative to escape from traditional systems: capitalism and communist.
More and more each time in the W. Brandt Platz. People in Frankfurt already know them and Germany slowly begins to open its eyes against a system that does it kingdom from injustice and inequality.
There, in the Capital´s headquarters, in the “allowed occupy” -nice contradiction- voice starts to raise, as it happens also in Spain, Italy, Greece and so many other countries in Europe, eager to stop being the old continent and towards more modern arguments.
Only the time will say if aims are reached, but first steps are always signs of joy and worth celebrating. Frankfut, now, has some reason… I no longer know if it is a city of lies.