Thousands of people took part in a series of anti-capitalist demonstrations in Frankfurt on Friday, targeting primarily the European Central Bank and banking giant Deutsche Bank, organisers and police said.
On the first of two days of protests planned by the anti-capitalist movement Blockupy, as many as 1,500 people gathered in front of the ECB in the pouring rain to protest the central bank's handling of the euro crisis and Europe's austerity policies.
Around 400 then moved to Deutsche Bank's headquarters to protest against the involvement of Germany's biggest lender in foodstuff speculation.
Following that, some 500 protestors picketed stores of major retailers such as Primark on Frankfurt's main shopping mile.
And then around 500 made their way to the city's airport to protest against Germany's deportation policies.
In all, around 10 people were detained, police said.
Police declined to say how many officers have been deployed in the city centre, but an AFP reporter on the scene estimated that there were several hundred.
Barriers had been set up around the ECB's Eurotower headquarters in Frankfurt's city centre for days now to prevent demonstrators from getting too close.
"Our protests are our way of saying 'No' to the ruling policy of global starvation, the exploitation of people and natural resources," said Blockupy spokeswoman Ani Diesselmann.
The demonstrators wanted to make a stance against the "everyday consequences of low-way labour, social marginalisation, housing shortages and racist deportation policies."
A police spokesman said protestors had repeatedly tried to climb over the barriers, adding that pepper spray had been used to repel them.
"We achieved what we set out to achieve and closed down the Eurotower with blockades," said Blockupy spokesman Roland Suess.
For the protestors, the ECB symbolised Europe's crisis management and favouritism of banks and supported policies that impoverished people, particularly in southern Europe, Suess said.
An ECB spokeswoman told AFP that the bank had taken measures to ensure the security of its employees, in coordination with the police.
"The ECB will remain operational during demonstrations," the central bank said in a statement.
On Saturday, which marks the ECB's 15th birthday, a much bigger demonstration is planned in the city centre with organisers expecting as many as 20,000 participants.
A year ago, much of Frankfurt's city centre was sealed off by police for days amid fears that a similar day of protests could turn violent, but the situation remained largely calm.