The protests erupted into violent clashes between demonstrators and police as they attempted to control the angry activists using riot measures including corrals, water cannons and tear gas.
Representatives from Spain’s anti-austerity party were among others including Greece’s Syriza, Spain’s Podemos and Germany’s Die Linke, to say that the ECB is partly responsible for enforcing policies that they see as “impoverishing parts of Europe”.
At a press conference called by Blockupy organisors, Miguel Urban Crespo, an MP for Podemos in European Parliament said: "The ECB is an absolutely undemocratic institution. It destroys our control over our own economic policy"
"The structural programs of the Troika have inflicted a Structural violence against the population," said the Euro MP from the radical left party led by Pablo Iglesias.
"ECB and capitalism destroys lives, simplicity rules," he added.
In an earlier video posted on Youtube and then tweeted, Urban denounced the "heavy handed" police tactics used to suppress a "peace demonstration".
— Miguel Urbán Crespo (@MiguelUrban) March 18, 2015
“This morning at 6am we started our peaceful demonstration outside the new headquarters of the ECB, an institution that is totally antidemocratic and the cause of the cuts and austerity policies being imposed,” he said.
“By 7 am we were at the receiving end of police with tear gas cannisters and pepper gas to disperse a mobilization of people that had gathered there peacefully. It was an act of repression and to have more than 10,000 police to detain 350 protestors.”
Violent clashes between anti-capitalist activists and German police outside the new ECB headquarters saw police cars set ablaze, rocks thrown and windows smashed.
Eight police were wounded when protesters hurled rocks, and 80 officers were sprayed with an irritant gas, a police spokeswoman told AFP, while businesses and homes suffered property damage.