German police, anti-capitalist protesters in standoff near ECB headquarters

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German police and thousands of anti-capitalist protesters are engaged in a standoff near the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.

Police in Germany's financial capital say about 7,000 protesters are refusing to move after officers encircled a group of about 200-300 people for refusing to remove face masks.

Organizers of the "Blockupy" protest say up to 20,000 people have come to demonstrate against the ECB's role in pushing European countries to cut government spending as part of efforts to reduce public debt.

Frankfurt police spokesman Erich Mueller said Saturday that officers had used pepper spray and batons to stop some protesters from breaking through police lines.

He says there have been no arrests or reported injuries so far.