Several thousand anti-capitalist demonstrators blocked access to the European Central Bank building in Frankfurt on Friday (May 31), in a protest against the handling of Europe's debt crisis.

A spokesman for Frankfurt police said that some 1,000 people had left a camp in the outskirts of the city centre earlier in the morning and marched into the financial district.

The demonstrations in Germany's financial capital come ahead of Europe-wide gatherings planned for June 1 and roughly a year after police detained hundreds of people for defying a temporary ban on protests at a similar four-day event in Frankfurt.

The movement's organisers say they aim to "visibly disturb" the usual business of the ECB and institutions like Deutsche Bank, which they blame for the recession in the heavily indebted euro zone countries such as Spain and Greece.

The Blockupy movement in Europe came about after the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. Protesters held a four-day demonstration in Frankfurt 12 months ago, coordinated from a camp set up outside the ECB's headquarters.

Frankfurt police cordoned off the streets around the ECB, while the underground train station on the square where the building is located was closed from Thursday and certain trams would be diverted.

In the afternoon, the demonstrators will divide up, with some blocking the entrance to Deutsche Bank's twin towers, to protest about food speculation and land grabbing. Activists have been asked to bring pots and pans to bang.

A second group will head to the city centre to protest against rising rents, while around 200 will highlight racism and 'deportation' at Frankfurt airport, Europe's third busiest hub.

Presented by Adam Justice