Stunning pictures of anti-capitalist protesters setting cars on fire and clashing with police outside the new ECB headquarters

Wednesday’s protests of the new European Central Bank headquarters by “Blockupy” demonstrators has turned ugly.

In Frankfurt, where the new building is set to open this morning, police cars are on fire, riot police are clashing with demonstrators, and the city’s skyline is filled with smoke.

The activists say the “ECB is one of the central institutions enforcing the implementation of the catastrophic policy of impoverishment.”

The group is planning a series of rallies and marches later today.

The ECB's sparkling new headquarters in Frankfurt have been completed, but not everyone is happy.

During construction, the walls around the project became a popular site for graffiti, much of it political.

The 'Blockupy' anti-austerity group organised a protest outside of the ECB's new headquarters to mark the opening.

The activists planned to blockade the ECB with 'music and street theatre, banners and themed objects.'

It's not the first time ECB protests have turned ugly, so there was a major German police presence.

A police officer was reportedly injured in the ensuing riot. Similar events were seen when the ECB visited Italy in 2014.

Police cars were set on fire, as well as pretty much anything else the rioters could use to create makeshift barricades.

But at least some of the activists didn't lose a sense of creative style.

The ECB is often blamed by activists on the left for prolonging the continent's economic crisis. 11.2% of the eurozone is still unemployed.

Rioters reportedly ripped up paving stones to use as makeshift weapons against the police.

The activists are planning a 'mass demonstration' at 5 p.m. Frankfurt time, Wednesday 18 March.

The usually peaceful Frankfurt skyline was filled with smoke from burning cars and barricades.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at