Thousands of anti-capitalist protesters expected at German austerity demonstration

Police in Germany's financial capital, Frankfurt, have put up metal barricades around the European Central Bank a day ahead of anti-capitalist protests expected to draw several thousand people.

Members of the Blockupy group say they will try to prevent employees from reaching the ECB for several hours Friday to underline their opposition to what they say is the bank's role in enforcing government spending cutbacks as a way of dealing with the eurozone's crisis over too much government debt.

A second demonstration is planned at Deutsche Bank's headquarters nearby.

Several hundred demonstrators had assembled by Thursday afternoon at a tent camp in a park several miles (kilometers) from Frankfurt's downtown financial district.

The ECB says it will remain operational and has taken steps to ensure employee safety.