Michel Chossudovsky - The
IMF-World Bank's "Economic Medicine"
* Through the imposition of deadly macroeconomic medicine, the IMF and the World Bank are responsible for destroying national economies and impoverishing millions of people.
USA Report - Police State Targets the Left by Jim Redden - posted Apr.27.2000
US intelligence and other assorted Pigs are using the sorts of civil liberties violations and surveillance that we used to criticize China and the Soviets for -using them to target legitimate protesters of the left. Across the USA and in Canada with a recent brutal attack on a16 protester in Toronto, our rights are vanishing.
- read the full report
Click for lots of photos A16
Click for Kickoff photo
Znet Action Photos
Photo Archive Indy Media
A16 Medical Team Info for Protesters
Tear gas & pepper spray prevention & First-Aid
Other A16 Medical Team information for Protesters:
1) General Advice for Protesters http://www.a16.org/medical.html
2) Protesters' Supplies to Bring http://www.a16.org/medicalsupplies.html
Other Related Protests:
* WTO Seattle File - Chemical War on Citizens - Reports from the Demonstration Against the World Trade organization - Seattle December, 1999 - includes photos.
* Riot at the Hyatt- Dec/1998 - Collected Accounts -the Protest at the Vancouver Hyatt
News Articles on this page
(The following statement was written by 70 of the male protestors arrested during the IMF protests and incarcerated for the past week. The writers consolidated ideas, suggestions, and editorial comments for the letter by passing suggestions between bars, from cell to cell.)
We, the male prisoners arrested in Washington, D.C. during the week of the A16 demonstrations against the IMF/ World Bank (April 16-22, 2000), wish to express our solidarity with our fellow inmates, as well as with prisoners around the world who die and are tortured daily, often simply because they ask to be treated fairly, equally, and justly. Second, we wish to express our sincere thanks to the many supporters who stayed outside the jail in solidarity with us, and to those many who sent e-mails, wrote letters, and made phone calls on our behalf. Also, we would like to thank the elected officials and members of congress who supported us. We wish to express our deepest thanks to the noble and tireless efforts of the volunteers with the Midnight Special Law Collective and the National Lawyers Guild. Most of all, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to our sisters in the adjacent cell block, whose powerful spirits and attitudes kept us strong during the past week. Collectively, this supportive response stands as testament to a growing worldwide community of resistance to unjust economic globalization and to the increasing corporate control over our daily lives.
Over the past five days we have been shuttled through the D.C./Federal judicial system. Despite the relatively trivial charges that most of us received ("crossing a police line", "parading without a permit", or "incommoding") and our shared decision to remain silent when asked to identify ourselves, we were subjected to a series of "divide and conquer" tactics, both psychological and physical. We were denied contact with our lawyers for consecutive periods of more than 30 hours at a time; left handcuffed and shackled for up to eight hours; moved up to 10 times from holding cell to holding cell. Many of us were denied food for more than 30 hours and denied water for up to 10 hours at a time. Though many of us were soaking wet after Monday's protest, we were refused dry clothing, and left shackled and shivering on very cold floors.
For no apparent reason, some of us were physically attacked by U.S. Marshals; we were forcefully thrown up against the wall, pepper sprayed directly in the face, or thrown on the floor and beaten. At least two individuals were forced against the wall by their necks in strangulation holds, with threats of further violence. This sort of violence was perpetrated against at least two juveniles in order to separate them from the larger group. The U.S. Marshals told us that we would be going to D.C. Jail, where we would be raped, beaten, and given AIDS or murdered by "faggots" and "niggers".
Chief Judge Eugene Hamilton, in a shocking violation of legal ethics, appointed public attorneys for each member of our group and ordered them to post our bonds while we were still in the D.C. Jail, expressly against our wishes and best interests. In fact, though we asked repeatedly for our own lawyers, we were assigned public defenders who consistently acted in the interests of the prosecution.
All of this came after the excessive violence used against peaceful demonstrators in the streets of Washington. (Violence perpetrated by police included running people over with police motorcycles, clubbing, beating, pepper spraying, tear gassing, trampling with horses, and systematically fabricating scenarios to legitimize police actions in the eyes of the public.)
After our arrests last week, many of us chose to remain anonymous to protest these abuses. We chose to show solidarity with our fellow protestors who were unjustly charged with felonies and misdemeanors in the act of non-violent civil disobedience against the IMF and the World Bank. It is clear to us that the District of Columbia and the Federal Government, by trumping up charges, by arresting frivolously, and by keeping us in jail for a week, had much less of a problem with our alleged infractions than with the fact that we spoke our minds and faced up to their brutality and threats. Simply put, our jail time was not about our trivial charges, but instead about our peaceful, nonviolent, and successful exercise of our constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Despite efforts by prison officials to alienate us from the resident inmate population, we continue to feel a great sense of community and solidarity with them. Unlike the "brutal monsters" that the racist, homophobic U.S. Marshals described to us in offensive and threatening detail, we found our fellow inmates to be intelligent, caring, and passionately concerned about injustice inflicted on all members of our society by governments, as well as injustice perpetrated by U.S. based corporations, around the globe. Many were informed about the severe injustices caused by IMF/World Bank programs which have forced hardships on the majority of the world's people. Together we discussed how life in a D.C. prison resembles the life of residents in the third world. In the same way that corporate investors profit from the sustained poverty of poorer countries (poverty sustained in part through the loans and polices of IMF/World Bank), so too do many investors profit from the sustained incarceration of U.S. citizens as prisons in the U.S. become privatized. The increasing privatization of prisons creates perverse incentives for prisons to incarcerate citizens in a system that benefits from what can only be called "slave labor."
We believe that the increasing injustices of the prison system and of the IMF/World Bank are fueled by the same naked greed. Racism, homophobia, sexism, global and local environmental devastation, the ongoing campaign to criminalize basic labor organizing tools, and many other forms of oppression are merely symptoms of a system that places profits above all other values. We believe that love, compassion, liberty, and basic human and environmental rights should be the driving forces in our society. We are determined to help create a world in which these values are stronger than selfishness.
Our movement is a small part of a worldwide brotherhood and sisterhood
joining in solidarity with all the impoverished, oppressed, and progressive
people of earth. For us, breaking the law is not a frivolous gesture, but
rather a last-resort means of exposing the immense powers that we all face
when we attempt to create real, ethical change. We continue to draw inspiration
from the civil rights, anti-nuclear, anti-war, environmental justice, labor
rights, and anti-oppression movements. Who are we? We are your sons and
daughters, your sisters and brothers, your fathers, mothers, grandfathers,
and grandmothers. We are your co-workers, your fellow parishioners and
rabbis, your healers, your teachers, and your students. We will continue
to risk arrest, and if necessary resist with our very lives, until we expose
this world as one in which profits come before people, so that a more just,
humane, and free global society may take its place.
URGENT CELEBRATION ALERT IMF/WB
Protesters Needed help
Sat, 22 Apr 2000 23:21:21 -0400
From: Lee Sonko <email@example.com>
They're out!!!! A multitude of thank yous to everyone who made calls and passed these alerts on - they made a difference! And the folks coming out were so heartened to hear about how you practically shut down the mayor^Òs office with the volume of your calls!!
All of the remaining A16 protestors were released Friday night through Saturday. They are in good health, and high spirits despite many of them having been fasting for most of theur stay. The scene out side the jail was jubilant, as 50-70 people waited all night in the cold and damp to greet their returning friends, whooping and hollering as each batch appeared, and directing them to hot food and blankets. Most of those leaving stayed with us, singing and dancing to wait for the rest of the group.
Thanks to the strength of jail solidarity, a plea bargain was reached that drops all non-federal misdemeanors to a traffic infraction (equivalent of getting a ticket) with a $5 fine. This covers protestors arrested during the whole week^Òs events including those who gave their names and accepted a citation to return to court. Unfortunately the US Attorney^Òs offie was exceedingly non-cooperative, and those charged with felonies or federal charges were not covered by the bargain (though they are all out of jail). Midnight Special will represent them, and their cases look strong.
Preparation for class action suits regarding brutal treatment, especially by the US marshalls is underway. Anyone who witnessed misconduct should be sure to fill out a report for the legal team. (202-842-4479).
Keep Hope Alive! Mirror, writing through Lee's email account
PS Folks coming out ask us to remember the people who are still inside - the ones who don't have huge activist networks keeping track of them and their needs. Any mistreatment we hear about from this weekend is not unusual: it's commonplace and we need to work to keep it from happening to anyone. Thanks!
156 World Bank/IMF Protesters Released En Masse From Jail
Wash. DC Authorities Capitulate to Protesters' "Jail Solidarity"
Jubilant reunion of prisoners of conscience and protesters as prisoners are released Washington DC Jail, 19th and D Sts., SE
The remaining 156 people arrested during the April 16-17 demonstrations at the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been released from jail. By practicing "jail solidarity", they were successful in obtaining release with only a nominal fine to pay and no criminal record added to their names. Amid scenes of jubilation and relief, prisoners were reunited with their fellow protesters outside the DC Courthouse at 500 Indiana Avenue jail where those protesters had maintained a 24 hour vigil in support of those inside. The capitulation of the authorities was the result of a pre-planned process of "jail solidarity", whereby prisoners withheld their names through exercising their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, and overburdened the system with their united noncooperation. For those prisoners, cooperating in any manner, shape or form with what they considered to be a "corrupt and oppressive police state" would run counter to their conscience. ("War tax" resisters act according to a similar principle.)
"This is total capitulation," says Katya Komisaruk, attorney with the Midnight Special Legal Collective. "As with the mass arrests made in Seattle, here in DC we've demonstrated the genuine power wielded by people united. Solidarity is virtually unstoppable. On to Philly and LA for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions."
District of Columbia Chief Judge Eugene Hamilton had instructed the team of prosecutors to resolve the stress on the DC jails by today. The defense team, comprising the Midnight Special Legal Collective (formed from the Direct Action Network legal team that successfully won the dismissal of nearly all 600 Seattle WTO charges), the National Lawyers Guild, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, and the Court Appointed Panel negotiated with the District of Columbia Corporation Counsel and the US Attorney's Office, seeking the demands arrived at through a unique "consensus" process (decision by unanimity) by the prisoners.
The plea bargain agreement included a reduction in charges to jaywalking, with an accompanying $5 fine, the total sum of which was raised by concerned local citizens within minutes. The authorities have insisted that all released give a name, but no identification will be checked for verification. In addition, the terms apply retroactively to all arrested protesters who have not yet paid a fine but who provided identification in order to return to their family, work, or to flee the extensively reported and soon-to-be thoroughly investigated physical and psychological brutality of the US Marshals within the DC Courthouse. Also covered are any prisoners "lost" within the District of Columbia jail system, a legitimate concern say many familiar with the DC bureaucracy.
Erin Fischer, a graduate student at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, said shortly after her release, "Those of us who just spent four days in jail have a much deeper understanding of the oppression caused by IMF/World Bank policies. Attempts by the prison system, and the US Marshals in particular, to abuse and dehumanize us only show how seriously they take us. We've come out of this stronger, and with complete confidence in our power as agents of non-violent change."
The original threats hurled at the detainees that they would be sent to the general prison population and be assuredly beaten and/or raped proved hollow. The male IMF/WB inmates established a rapport with their fellow inmates, took testimonials from them regarding institutional abuse, and pledged to work from the outside for the correction and prosecution of heinous human rights violations. "Their every attempt to intimidate or to divide and conquer only helps us. You would think they would learn," said a released demonstrator who identified himself as Daniel Freiheit.
The IMF/WB activists will spend the evening celebrating their total victory-debriefing legal and medical teams, reuniting with friends and family, some having their first meal since Monday. Contact: Denis Moynihan 617-216-4671, David Levy 917-682-7111 --------
Toronto Jail Support Network
Friday, April 21st , 1pm
Edward and Elizabeth. Toronto Bus Terminal
Police use Pepper Spray and violence against Rally
in Support of Political Prisoners in DC
4 arrested, several injured by pepper spray
100 concerned citizens, including members of Toronto
Black Bloc anarchists, presented Washington DC Police, the IMF and World
Bank with a warrant for their arrest today at the American Consulate.
These three organizations are wanted for their abhorrent treatment of peoples
around the world and specifically for the treatment of the 150 political
prisoners still being held in DC jails.
After rallying in front of the US consulate and 52 division, pointing out the connection with local issues such as Target Policing, the protesters moved along Dundas and University before turning east down Edward. Police officers harassed the crowd as they went, trying to push them with their bikes and advancing slowly at the crowd with their cars. The crowd was clearly beginning to disperse as they reached the bus station, the media cameras left, when the police suddenly attacked a group of the protesters, pushing one over a police bicycle. As protesters tried to protect their friends more police arrived and began to attack the crowd, using pepper spray and breaking a glass bottle over the head of one protester who was trying to assist one of those who had been pepper sprayed.
"It was unbelievable, the crowd was walking along peacefully, and the police just attacked them. The march was winding down anyway, and most of them were on the sidewalk. It made no sense" said Toby Lloyd, who was at the scene. "Its clear that anytime people attempt to exercise their democratic rights, the police will use whatever tactics needed to silence them. I saw people who were trying to help their friends from the pain of pepper spray being pushed away by police"
Police made four arrests and are currently holding
them at 52 division. Protesters are standing vigil in front of the
division until their friends are released.
POLICING IN TORONTO ON GOOD FRIDAY: TWO EXPERIENCES
Imagine a public event that wanders through the streets of downtown Toronto, staying primarily on the sidewalks but on several occasions spilling out onto the street, blocking a lane of traffic, while speakers state a desire for social justice. Imagine that a hospital emergency entrance is blocked for several minutes. Imagine that the event marched through the Eaton Centre. Imagine that the event blocked the entrance into Old City Hall Courts. Imagine the response by the police.
Imagine a second event. This event was fairly contained, but spilled onto the street in order to quickly move from one site of concern to another. The streets are fairly empty and the participants are moving quickly. Imagine the response by the police.
As you can imagine, the first event was "assisted" by the police. The second one was attacked by the police. Both events occured in 52 Division and many of the officers involved in the attack on the protesters also provided escorts for the first event.
In downtown Toronto on Good Friday, two groups of people equally committed to social justice and to public expressions of concern saw the two faces of the Toronto police force. I participated in both events---the 11:00 a.m. rally in support of those arrested and brutalized by the police in Washington D.C. and the Ecumenical Good Friday Stations of the Cross, which began at 2:00 p.m.
The 11:00 a.m. event involved approximately 100 people, primarily younger than I by 20 years or more. It was spirited but peaceful and certainly was not a group intending to engage in confrontation with the police.
We gathered at the U.S. consulate, heard a brief update on the situation in Washington and waited while a symbolic warrant for the arrests of those responsible for the abuse of political activists in Washinton was taped to the U.S. Consulate. Afterwards, there was a brief march to 52 Division where an effort was made to link the experience of the poor in Toronto (who are victims of targeted policing) to the treatment of those who speak out against a system that targets the poor. Again, this was peaceful. At the end of the brief speeches, it was decided to march to Toronto Police Headquarters where it was assumed by many of us participating that the rally would end and people disperse.
We marched from 52 Division, along Dundas to University Avenue, and were marching up University to College (where the protest would have then turned east to go to Bay and College). This would have been approximately 4 blocks in total, along fairly empty streets. At Edward, the police diverted the march along Edward where they ordered the protesters onto the sidewalk. This was done at a section of the street where there were cars parked, hindering access to the sidewalk. According to various reports, at one point, a Toronto bicycle cop grabbed a young woman by her hair and threw her backwards over his bike and onto the truck of a car parked by the side of the road. (She was one of the four arrested). A couple of people went to her assistance and were assaulted by the police. These three individuals were dragged to the sidewalk and handcuffed. The woman mentioned above was handcuffed and, with an officer on her back and while in handcuffs, was peppersprayed.
The police also charged through the crowd on the sidewalk, slammed one of the participants against the wall of the bus terminal (Elizabeth and Edward) through him to the ground, handcuffed him and, while on his back, peppersprayed him.
I was impressed by the ability of the partipants to remain calm in the face of police provocation, to risk coming to the aid of those being assaulted in a non-violent way (trying to physically put their bodies between police clubs and those being hit) without using violence in return. Despite what some media may indicate, the four assaulted and charged with various offenses (obstruct police; assault police) were non-violent activists taking part in activities that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (not to mention a number of court cases--- contact Toronto Action for Social Change at <firstname.lastname@example.org> for details) declare are legitimate.
And, as an effort to link what was happening in Washington to the experience in Toronto, certainly the police mini-riot was effective.
I was somewhat shocked, however, at seeing the unprovoked attack by the police on peaceful protesters. I was especially provoked approximately an hour and a half later when officers that had been involved with the pepper spraying incident showed up at Metropolitan United Church to escort those of us participating in the Ecumenical Good Friday Stations of the Cross.
The Good Friday Stations of the Cross comes out of the work of a number of people active in social justice areas who are also part of various Christian faith communities. It has been an annual event for close to two decades. At various sites in the downtown core concerns about war, economic injustice, the abuse of the penal system, homelessness, corporate crimes/ the neo-conservative agenda, and other concerns are confronted (in a non-violent way) involving a variety of forms from street theatre to responsive litanies to biblical readings.
I was permitted to address the participants about the events earlier in the day and the presence of some of the same officers at the Good Friday event. I reminded the people that they would be seeing the positive side of the police, because we were people of faith, but the young people earlier in the day-- equally motivated by a concern for justice-- had been attacked by the police and peppersprayed while in handcuffs. These young people were restrained for walking through the streets of downtown Toronto calling for justice on Good Friday. A sizable number of those present did not want the police to accompany us, but the majority opposed the effort to stop them from doing so---primarily out of a motive of inclusivity.
The participants left the Metropolitan United Church Hall and spilled out onto Bond Street, blocking a lane of traffic. We heard people speak out on a number of issues related to "Finacialization and Faith." The participants they went west along the sidewalk along Shuter to the Emergency Entrance of St. Michael's hospital. Here the entrance was blocked for approximately 10 minutes, delaying an ambulance. Participants then crossed Victoria Street to Massey Hall, filling up one lane of traffic on Victoria Street, to hear speakers address the "Health Care Crisis". The participants then walked along the sidewalk of Shuter to Yonge Street and entered the Eaton Centre at Albert Street. Outside the west doors, participants heard about "Poverty, Wealth and Consumerism" . People then went west, filling up Albert Street and blocked the large doors to Old City Hall Courts to hear about "Justice and Community". People then walked to Nathan Philips Square where. by a heating grate, the issue of "Homelessness" was focused on. Then into Old City Hall (invited in by Councillor Joe Mihevic) to focus on "Militarism". People then walked over to the Church of the Holy Trinity for "The Final Act---A Parable."
At no point, when people overflowed into the streets or walked through the Eaton Centre or blocked the back door to Old City Hall Courts, did the police response with anything other than respect.
Several questions arise. Why are certain activities supported by the police at times? Why, at other times, do the police respond by pepper spraying individuals who are in handcuffs and being physically restrained by officers? What message does it sent to the police when certain groups accept the escort of officers identified as being directly involved in the attack? (i.e. how can groups be encouraged to hold the police accountable for their actions?).
Some suggestions for follow up include:
(a) Contact Councillor Olivia Chow <email@example.com>, Phone: 416-392-4044 Fax: 416-392-4130. Olivia Chow is a member of the Toronto Police Services Board. She should be asked to explain why police are permitted to pepper spray protesters, especially those already in handcuffs and being restrained.
(b) Groups should consider refusing to apply for police issued parade permits as long as the police are permitted to pepper spray protesters. Contact TASC <firstname.lastname@example.org> for info on hall the courts have dealt with this.
(c) People may wish to contact The Ecumenical Good Friday Coalition, c/o Rev. Stuart Coles, Christian Resource Centre, 40 Oak Street, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2C6, asking them to speak out against the police tactics used against those arrested on Good Friday and urge them to not accept special treatment by the police in the future.
Brutality in DC Jails Against
Clipped from an email from "sara koch" <email@example.com
Wed, 19 Apr 2000
As individuals working on the Midnight Special Law Collective, the legal team representing the protestors arrested during the A16 action in Washington D.C., we are concerned about the mistreatment of protestors in the jail system by U.S. Marshals, specifically treatment of a homophobic nature. There needs to be a level of responsibility among U.S. citizens to take action to hold those responsible for this treatment accountable--namely police, marshals, judges, and city officials. We need to especially hold the Chief of Police accountable for his denial of the unlawful acts committed against the protestors by police. The process of holding some of these people responsible for their actions is made difficult by the unlawful removal of their badge identification during arrests and the detaining of arrestees in the jail.
The levels of abuse committed against the protestors ranges from police brutality, homophobic comments, and rape threats, as well as sexual harassment, physical abuse, and verbal threats. Judges have also been blatantly lying to defendants in court about the details of their situation and threatening them with false consequences for maintaining their jail solidarity.
The following are some specific examples
of the brutality going on in jail against the protestors being held.
One incident involves a transgendered woman going by the name of Lisa who was in a cell of thirty women. When the police learned of her transgender identity, they separated her from the others and put her into solitary confinement. The police assured the other women that she was safe, but we have no way of knowing how she is being treated or what is happening to her.
Some women protestors are being stripped
searched by male officers, being asked to drop their pants and cough, being
patted down by male officers,being tied down and their breasts being grabbed
by male officers, and shackled at their waist and ankles. The officers
made lewd comments to the women about their sexual orientation. Medical
attention has been denied in regards to hypothermia conditions by protestors
in wet clothes, as well as regarding dehydration. Food and water
was denied to protestors the entire first day of their stay in jail.
One hypoglycemic woman was throwing up violently all day as a result.
We have report from one woman still in jail that they were arrested at
3pm on Monday, were put in a cold cell with their wet clothes on without
blankets or anything to sleep on until 7am the next morning, and were not
given food and water until Noon the next day.
When we spoke to her at 6pm that evening, none of the women in her cell had slept since 4am the morning of their arrest (Monday).
Legal access was denied to the arrestees, they were kept separate from each other so that they couldn't organize their solidarity and take care of each other, and were met with police claiming to be their legal council who told them false reports of the consequences of their refusal to give their names.
One judge who saw arrestees three to eight at a time who were being processed for their arraignment blatantly and consistently lied to each group of defendants about their situation, claiming that "everyone who got arrested has decided that their message was heard in the street and that there was no reason to stay in jail, and so all but about twenty people have given their names and left the jail. Since you are the only ones left here, you might as well do what everyone else has done." This was being said at a time when over 200 people had already proven their solidarity by refusing to give their names in court. Our legal team sat in the courtroom and watched this judge lie to groups of defendants without being allowed to say anything in the courtroom to warn them or correct her comments. They finally managed to get a note to those defendants waiting arraignment processing warning them of this judge's tactics. This is a blatant disregard of people's due process rights.
What we need people to do now is to put pressure
on various officials and their constituents in order to provide solidarity
and support for those still in jail.
Robert Rigsby, Corporation Council
DC Courts (judges threatening and lying to defendants)
Chief Judge Amice Wagner (202) 879-1600
Executive Officer Ulysses Hammond (202) 879-1700
Chief Judge Eugene Hamilton 202-879-1600
Clerk of the Court 202-879-1401
RE: Police Brutality
DC Mayor's Office 202-727-2980
Chief of staff 202-727-2643
RE: Homophobic Comments and Rape Threats
DC Dept of corrections 202-673-7316
US Attorney for DC 202-514-2000 (demand prosecution for hate crimes)
Call the Washington Post and demand
to know why these abuses haven't been reported. 202-334-7410
Continue to call US attorney's office as well as your local senators and congresspeople to demand these abuses are prosecuted, and most importantly, that the demonstrator's rights are granted. The demonstrators' demands are the following:
-For all arrestees to be held together in the
-To have vegetarian food and water available
-To have legal access to lawyers from our legal team
-An end to the physical and verbal harassment, and for those who committed them to be dealt with and prosecuted.
Call Now to Help 200 IMF/WB
from a16-international-planning - "Denis Moynihan"
IMF, World Bank Demonstrators Subject to Widespread Police Abuse
New Accounts Detail Gross Mistreatment in Jail and in the Streets
New reports of peaceful protesters beaten by police and U.S. Marshals, denied food and water and stripped of their basic constitutional rights give the lie to early accounts of police restraint during massive protests against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- Detainees have deen denied food, water, toilets,
medical attention, and access to lawyers.
- One instance was reported of an interrogator posing as a member of the Midnight Special Legal Collective, the volunteer lawyers representing the activists.
- One non-violent protester had 3 ribs broken while he was arrested.
- Another protester was beaten in the face and then loaded into a patrol wagon, leaving a pool of blood in the street. A police officialtold the drivers not to offload him at the jail but to drive him around for several hours, and then to drop him off near a hospital.
- At midnight on Monday, many activists still reported being denied food and water. Some were arrested at 4 AM, 20 hours earlier. Rachel Weber, a recent Harvard graduate from Boston, watched as one woman in her cell, who has hypoglycemia, began to throw up from lack of food. Police denied repeated requests for food or medical assistance.
- One group of men was taken into a basement, put into a cage, and told by a U.S. Marshall, There are no cameras here. We can do whatever we want. Anyone who looked up while the Marshall was speaking was punched in the face.
- Another activist saw a U.S. Marshalls slam peoples faces into a wall.
- Jennifer Kirby, a housing advocate from Washington D.C., was part of a group of activists who took over an abandoned home to protest unfair evictions and social service cuts in the District of Columbia. The police came in and dragged us out of the house. As the police dragged the last person out of the house, one officer was kicking him and saying stop attacking my foot and then all the police slammed him against a wall, saying stop attacking the wall. They dragged him into a six-inch deep puddle and left him in it for five minutes while they kicked him, said Kirby.
- Officers also used a variety of abusive tactics to pit activists in Jail against each other and to break Jail Solidarity, cooperation between activists designed to ensure fair treatment by police.
- Black Echo a spectator at the arraignment of several hundred activists, heard the presiding commissioner Ringelle imply that if activists did not cooperate he would place them with the general jail population, where they they would be raped. He told us For a day or a week or a month [Jail] is not a pleasant place. People get sodomized. The inmates run the D.C. Prison. In the prison, the weak are preyed upon, said Black Echo.
- Another group of activists was also threatened with incarceration with the general population, and told they love to kill white boys over there, you pussy-faggot protesters.
- Detainees are taken into solitary confinement and lied to, told that they are the last ones in jail, that they wont be released before their court date in July, that they have no rights.
The Midnight Special Law Collective is asking all concerned to call as many of the following numbers to help them in their efforts to gain justice for the remaining 200 IMF/WB detainees. Giving no names, express concern that
detainees are being abused, and demand their immediate release.
All area codes are 202.
DC Mayors office: 727-2980
DC Chief of Staff: 727-2643
DC Public Advocate: 673-4421
Dept. of Correction: 673-7316
DC Chief Judge: 879-2770
DC Executive Officer Ulysses Hammond: 879-1700
Police Academy: 645-0055 (detainees held here)
Central Holding: 727-2894
1st Dist. Substation: 727-4655
Superior Court Chief Judge Eugene Hamilton: 879-1600
Clerk of the Court: 879-1401
US Atty. For DC: 514-2000 (insist on an investigation and
abuses, civil rights violations, and homophobia)
Cell Blocks B & C: 727-2392
another A16 report from the Revolutionary Anti-Capitalist Bloc
Tue, 18 Apr 2000 16:18:01 -0400
From: "Global @ction" <firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies if this sounds incoherent, I've had
barely any sleep for
the past couple days...
What a kick-ass two days! Taking part in the RACB
was one of the
proudest moments of my life as an anarchist.
On Sunday, we marched around the perimeter of
occupied zone backing up the protesters who were trying to secure
intersections by confronting cops and sometimes holding
intersections until reinforcements arrived. Everywhere we went
people fucking cheered.
The arrestables among us flattened police car
and bus tires and
spraypainted and stickered them, they yanked out fencing from
construction sites and cut loose newspaper boxes and barricaded
the streets with them. (On monday [today] I heard that anarchists
picked up parked cars and used them as barricades!) The Black
Bloc backed down the police MANY times over the past two days.
All of this was done with incredible stealth and organization
The Black Bloc was composed of a large number
of women, the
arrestables had about a 50/50 male to female ratio. The ethnic
makeup was *way* more diverse than the mobilization as a whole.
The overall reaction to the Bloc by other protesters
positive. There were a few hippies who were yelling at us about
"non-violence", but the overwhelming majority of the protesters
were overjoyed to see us. One intersection chanted "we love the
The Bloc saved many peoples asses over the past
two days and
most of the other protesters are very conscious of that. At one of
the last protests today, a group of non-violent protesters did a
symbolic crossing of the police line and had a press conference,
during which they publicly stated that they supported the actions of
the Black Bloc and expressed their solidarity with us.
We quite simply fucking rocked!
OK now the bad news. At least 20 of our comrades
arrested. We don't know if they'll be charged with felonies.
Hopefully, someone will have more information about that by
tomorrow. If they are charged with felonies, we need to give them
all the support we can.
I'm am so proud of everyone and so proud to have
been a part of
the Black Bloc. Our communications people did a fabulous job, our
spraypaintin', tire flattenin', cop chasin' arrestables did a fabulous
job, congratulations to everyone.
Massive Rally and Non-Violent Protest at the
IMF & World Bank in Washington DC -
Sun-Mon April 16-17
[4/18 1:15pm] Hundreds remain in custody Tuesday as jail solidarity continues to put pressure on DC authorities for the release of people arrested over the last three days. The legal team has been almost completely denied access to those in custody. Intimidation, beatings, and abuses by federal marshalls have been reported by those released.
Approximately 1,350 protesters have been arrested over the last three days: 600 Saturday, 40 Sunday, and 700 Monday.
Tuesday: Rally at 500 Indiana Avenue
Hundreds have gathered at 500 Indiana Avenue to show solidarity with the protesters being held. Please join us or call 202-544-9360 for recorded information.
[4/18 1:15pm] Limited access is available to the convergence space today, and dozens are there cleaning and moving people's belongings and cleaning. Personal property is being moved to the a16 office at 1436 U Street. Approximately 1200 people have been arrested, 90% arrested yesterday (at least 600 confirmed) remained in solidarity (did not give their names, and refused to site out) From those being released increasing amount of abuse is being sited. As we stood outside the courthouse last night a woman was rushed from inside, she was extremely dehydrated and had passed out- she had not been allowed water or food for the entire day- this is true for most of the prisoners, another who sited out was hypoglycemic and was shaking and nearly passed out when she was released. Further, the police have threatened these POLITICAL PRISONERS with torture, with sentences of weeks, with sending them to the harshest prisons, they have shackled them, they have sent them fake lawyers, all in an attempt get people to break solidarity. One young prisoner yesterday who refused to tell police whether he was a minor was shackled and paraded in front of the non-protest inmates with the police saying "you want a young boy". These are only a small pooling of cases that I have heard.
April 17th - Dozens of protesters were arrested in heavy rain Monday. Washington police say at least 90 more people have been detained. Later reports put the number of new arrests at 500. There have been so many arrests it is hard to keep track. Numbers in since Saturday indicate around 1400 arrests in total, maybe more.
The mainstream media makes little play on the fact that most of the arrests were for nothing at all. People are being arbitrarily detained, beaten, held on buses without food, water or washrooms. Yet the media does not oppose this. In Canada the National Post went so far as to depict 600 peaceful protesters detained after the Saturday demo as rioters. These mass arrests of citizens protesting at the US Justice Department prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there isn't any justice in America. A radio station broadcasting protest reports was also taken off the air by authorities Monday morning, and the weekend started with the closure of the protesters' HQ. The police zone created to protect elite delegates follows the model set up in Seattle and elsewhere. The WTO/IMF/WB creates a "no rights" brutality zone and in one sense it is a telling microcosm of that triad's worldwide actions. People don't count to them. They embrace a banker's superstitions and not a human philosophy. If left unchecked their "no rights" zone would be worldwide.
Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin, recently touted as a possible new head of the IMF, put out media spin on helping the poorer nations. He did this while hiding behind a wall of police, ignoring the fact that a number of the people detained were Canadians.
Looked at as a whole all of the trappings of the totalitarian state are revealed at A16. An enormous effort by authorities who want to quell free speech and free media. They have corporate media on side along with the police, politicians and lawmakers.
Perhaps the protests have been a
success in one way. The IMF operates without public accountability, treating
nations like colonies that must obey the rules of globalization in order
get cash flow. The IMF/WB/WTO usurps the power of nations, and they've
now found out that it can't be done without a backlash. They would not
go to the people or include people, so the people are coming in force to
them. Even Paul Martin knows that they can't hide any more. And it doesn't
matter whether the IMF's decisions go from the destructive stuff of the
past to better decisions in the future - greedy bankers have no business
running the world. The planet's future should rise from the visions of
people and nations.
Reclaiming Mobilization Radio - April 17
report at Indy Media
April 17, 2000: Mobilization Radio, which had been disseminating information thruout the past week about the activities of the IMF/World Bank actions as they have happened, raided by the DC police, the FBI and at least one official from the FCC. The enforcement squad arrived at about 3:30, without a warrant, and ordered the station closed. A standoff ensued for about two hours, during which time the authorities refused to make any comment or even to explain why they were there. They blocked traffic on the entire road and restricted access for any non-residents into the alleged broadcast building or any of several adjacent buildings on either side.
Shortly before 4PM, a crowd of about three hundred demonstrators arrived on the scene, a deviation from their march to a jail solidarity action in support of those arrested during World Bank related demonstrations. At that point the police donned riot gear and formed a line in front of the building. What happened next was probably unprecedented in the history of microradio: the police, FBI, FCC and assorted other intelligence left the scene.
The crowd immediately took the street in celebration, but almost as quickly gave the street back up to traffic, an indication of their unwillingness to create friction between themselves and the local community. For about a half-hour they allowed themselves to bask in the glow of a decisive victory before continuing back on their path toward jail solidarity. Thruout the course of the entire event there was no violence on the part of either demonstrators or police. In fact, when the police first made a move back to their cars the chant was Let them through! Let them through!
During the course of the weeks convergence on the capitol,
Mobilization Radio, a low-powered, unlicensed radio station that was set
up specifically for this weeks events, has been a valuable means of communication
for protesters in the street. They had been dispensing information about
what kinds of actions were taking place and where help was needed. With
the arrival of the law enforcement agencies the station was shut down.
After the police left the station was disassembled and carried out as the
participants left the building and regained anonymity as members of the
April 17 - Washington Police Bring in Curfew like Conditions for Monday Assault on protesters
Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are set to resume today despite the efforts of some 20,000 protesters Sunday to shut them down.
Federal authorities announced Sunday night that government employees whose offices are in a restricted area roughly 90 square blocks around World Bank headquarters were told to stay home from work Monday. Police believe they kept IMF meetings open due to light traffic on Sunday. Today they want to keep federal workers out of the way as they attempt to silence and roundup peaceful protesters.
Washington Police Chief Charles Ramsey said the entire police department had been activated and that he would call on the FBI, Park Police, Capitol Police, the Virginia State Police and others. As in Seattle, a no protest zone or brutality zone has been created to protect elite delegates. Hundreds who have been arrested have been beaten, denied food, water and basic comfort. Police State America does not respect human rights or freedom of speech in the created zone and does not even trust its own workers, fearing they may join the protests.
A16 Protests relatively peaceful but Police relatively violent -Apr.16.00
Washington Police said they had arrested about 20 people Sunday, bringing their count to nearly 700 people arrested at demonstrations against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Nearly all of those arrested did not commit any crime. It is arbitrary detention.
Police estimated as many as 10,000 people were taking part in the demonstrations. Organizers said it was 20,000. A CNN Producer, Christie Darden said she saw police hit demonstrators who were sitting on the ground in northwest Washington, not far from the White House.
A photographer for the Associated Press was treated at the scene for head injuries after being hit by police wielding batons.
Police used pepper spray on protesters and threw tear gas canisters into the crowd. Assistant D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Terry Gainer said his officers had not been authorized to use the tear gas.
At least four finance ministers were unable to attend meetings because the demonstrations blocked roadways and prevented the delegations from getting through.
Human chains formed on Pennsylvania Avenue about five blocks from the White House. Protesters locked their arms in metal tubes called "lock boxes" or "sleeping dragons."
Thousands Join Festive But Serious D.C. Protests
report at Corporate Watch
Special to Corporate Watch
April 16, 2000,10:30pm EST
Washington D.C. -- For weeks, the organizers of the World Bank and IMF protests, confident after the watershed Battle in Seattle, had made like Babe Ruth and pointed to where they thought the anti-corporate globalization movement's next home run would be: Washington D.C. on April 16th.
This morning at about six am, hundreds, and then thousands, of activists occupied sixteen intersections around the Bank building in an attempt to prevent the meeting from taking place. The corner of Pennsylvania and 21st was blocked by about thirty people with their arms locked inside metal pipes. Puppets, representing the Bank as a loan shark, danced among the protestors. Giant papier mache figures representing various failed or destructive World Bank projects from Guatemala to Paraguay to India to Cameroon swayed in the early morning drizzle. A Trojan Horse occupied one intersection. A huge pink "capitalist pig" wove through the crowd with a globe in its mouth and the words "World Bank" emblazoned on one side and "IMF" on the other. American Indian Movement drummers gave the crowd a jolt of energy with their drums and chants. The mood was somehow festive and serious at the same time. No one had slept last night. No one seemed tired.
But the openness and bravado of the organizers made it easy for the Washington police, working with the FBI, to put a crimp in the plans. The authorities, with the equivalent of a PhD from Seattle U. in How Not To Handle A Protest managed to allow the World Bank meeting to take place, in part by whisking many delegates through in the pre-dawn hours (at least four delegates, including a representative of the European Union did not make it through the blockades). By late morning it was clear that the meetings would proceed today.
The authorities had made their move days earlier. They shadowed and harrassed known activists. On Saturday morning they shut down the organizing center on what activists say was a flimsy pretext and confiscated equipment, leading one legal advisor to quip that "D.C. is now safe from puppets."
Last night police arrested more than 600 demonstrators for marching without a permit. Passers by were also reportedly swept up and detained. They remained in jail throughout today's protests and legal observers said some sat handcuffed in buses for hours without food, water or access to bathrooms.
As in Seattle, there was tension on the streets today, and occasional mild violence. That violence was almost invariably initiated by police. In the late morning, an AP reporter was hit on the head by a police baton and was bleeding on the street. At a nearby corner police repeatedly donned gas masks an prepared tear gas canisters, but then put the equipment away five minutes later. If they were trying to scare the protestors, the tactic backfired: each time a gas canister appeared, a cry went up and dozens of protestors came running to provide reinforcements.
In addition to the planned non-violent civil disobedience, thousands gathered today for a permitted rally and march at the Ellipse. Organizers said the crowd was 20 thousand strong. Washington DC police counted ten thousand demonstrators. The endorsers included the AFL-CIO, though labor presence was fairly light. The crowd contained people from ACT UP, Students for a Free Tibet, Ralph Nader groups, and many others.
The rally gave a sense of completeness to the harder hitting protests nearby, as speaker after speaker articulated the reasons for these protests. Humorist and filmmaker Michael Moore pointed out that that Wall St. and the Banks were making many people's lives miserable. Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader decried the "structural injustice" of the Bank and IMF, which allow "corporate managed trade that suppresses local self-reliance and democracy."
So, were the protests successful?
The police spin was that they provided business-as-usual conditions for the Bank, and therefore the protests were a non-event.
Organizers of the protests, as well as long term
observers of the issues, did not agree with that assessment. David Korten,
author of When Corporations Rule the World told Corporate Watch called
the protest "a breakthrough in
the awakening to corporate rule."
Andrea Durbin of Friends of the Earth noted how
far the movement has come since just six months ago. "People are coming
together on previously obscure institutions." She has a point. One sign
combined the obscure with
the profane, saying "SAPs Suck." SAPs are IMF Structural Adjustment Programs.
The protests also reverberate outside the United
States. Activists in the South are struck by the rapid growth in awareness
inside the US of issues that they have been fighting for decades. "People
in Nigeria and around the
world are following these events very closely because they are about how ordinary people here in the US are beginning to take up their fight against the repression of the IMF, World Bank and global corporations," noted Nigeria human rights activist Oronto Douglas.
Most of the young protestors in the streets seemed to agree with the grizzled veterans. At about 2:00 pm, most of the blockades had broken up voluntarily. Joining the permitted parade, one young person from the D.C. area avowed that he was "somewhat disappointed." But a companion, from North Carolina, said the day had "gone great." An hour or so later, hundreds of protestors took a spontaneous and high-spirited march down 14th Street. Three 17 year old high school students from neighboring Silver Springs Maryland were willing to risk not only arrest, but punishment from school authorities who threatened to shut down their "sexual minorities club" if they attended the weekend protest. They said the choice was easy. If there was a sense of disappointment or failure, it was hard to discern.
Perhaps today's protestors were simply more realistic than the media. The bar for a successful protest had been set as high as the Seattle Needle, with help from the bungling police department there. Some media, noting correctly that this was the follow up to the WTO demonstrations, then reduced the measure of success of today's protests simply to whether they shut the IMF down or not.
Perhaps that's an appropriate perspective for the police chief. But this movement will not be measured by whether it stops meetings from taking place, but by its influence on the institutions and the people affected by them.
The World Bank will meet again. But it will be difficult for it to again meet in secrecy. "Until the voices of ordinary people are heard at the World Bank and IMF we will continue to disrupt their meetings," said activist Nadine Bloch of the Ruckus Society.
Or as David Korten told Corporate Watch, "This is a movement that will not be put down."
China Brotsky and Julie Light also contributed
to this report.
Protesters Injured Mid-Day In Transit To Permitted Protest
by Patricia Townsend and Gillian Andrews 4:36pm Sun Apr 16 '00
Police violence arose midday as demonstrators converged upon the permitted protest at the Ellipse.
Though the sun defied forecasts at the time, Sunday noon saw one of the darkest hours yet of the weekend's protest. Demonstrators and a press agent were injured by police and others were arrested as police confronted demonstrators moving from morning activities to the permitted protest at The Ellipse.
The violence began as a peaceful group of hundreds of World Bank/IMF demonstrators, lingering on sidewalks at 15th and Pennsylvania shortly after 12:00, were met by approximately 50 police on foot and a few dozen on motorcycles. Members of the group, who were not moving in formation at the time, had been congregating or been en route to a nearby park.
In order to get buses through the intersection, presumably to facilitate mass arrests, officers on foot and motorcycles moved forward to clear the street. Hundreds of demonstrators watched from the sidewalk, as four approached the front of the police line. The police plowed through this small group.
In response, some fifty people sat down at 15th and Pennsylvania to block the officers. Police attacked the group, beat them, dragged them, and struck them with clubs. The motorcycles pushed into the crowds, ramming individuals. One demonstrator who had been struck with a club to the abdomen was taken to Howard University Emergency Room with possible internal injuries when a medic alerted police to the possibility of internal bleeding or injury.
Another member of the crowd, a Korean National AP photographer, was struck in the head, and lay bleeding and unconscious for minutes. Protesters had to surround him and demand medical attention to shield him from further injury. Other protesters, attempting to reach the man, were blocked by police. An ambulance arrived and attended to his injury.
Affinity groups and others arriving in the wake of these events reacted angrily, filling the intersection of 17th and Pennsylvania, chanting, and pushing up to police lines which had been redrawn. Officers on horseback were called in to the police line on the White House side of the intersection. According to legal observers present on the scene, the mounted officers were withdrawn when Secret Service police officers bearing tear gas joined the line. No tear gas was used at that time.
Bystanders said that motorcycle police had charged protesters standing and lying in the same intersection, running over one, but this could not be confirmed as of press time.
Compiled with the aid of call-in reports from Evan Henshaw-Plath and
Police State USA Attacks - Apr.16.1 pm.2000
Helicopters whirl overhead, police sirens blast, motorcycles roar, police cars race, officers on foot march, horses rear, batons swing, gas and pepper spray flies - as police state America works to shut down freedom of speech in Washington.
Protesters are being crushed against building walls as Riot Police attack with tear gas, pepper spray and bone crunching batons.
The main clash has been with 300 anarchists in central Washington. Police are spraying peaceful demonstrators in the eyes and clubbing others with batons at barricades outside the US Treasury.
Police attacked quickly after protesters surrounded a minibus full of delegates wearing business suits. Squads of riot police, backed by mounted police, dragged the protesters away, and threw them to the ground. Those who engaged in sit down protest were publicly beaten by vicious pigs.
Apr.15.00 - 850 Arrested at A16- Hundreds of protestors gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue Saturday. Three hours later over 350 were arrested after a protest at FBI HQ.
Activist News Network-Hundreds of activists arrested in DC
By: Vergil Bushnell, 15 April, 2000
For more info: email@example.com
This afternoon/ evening, DC police encircled and arrested approx. several hundred peaceful demonstrators. I arrived soon after police had trapped a large group of protestors (I believe they were demonstrating against the prison industry) several blocks from the World Bank (around I and 20th streets).
Pinned between walls of riot police, I heard the demonstrators yell "How many people here would like to go home?" Crowds lining the outside of the barricades yelled "Let the go!" Nevertheless, the protestors were cuffed w/ zip-ties and led individually aboard (ironically) a fleet of school buses.
There was no evidence of mayhem, broken glass, graffiti, or any other potentially criminal activity. These people were arrested for nothing other than assembling in a peaceful manner and expressing their views. Occasionally I would try to ask a nearby officer why the protestors were arrested. My queries were usually met with an ubiquitous stony stare and silence. Once or twice, a cop would admit he didn't know what caused the arrests, or mumble something about the protestors not being on the sidewalk. On one occasion, I was standing next to reporter who asked a cop where the arrestees were being taken. He said he couldn't answer that. The reporter made a wry comment about the dictatorship-like secrecy characterizing the entire affair.
Cheers of solidarity erupted for every packed
bus that rolled off from the masses behind the police tape. Some read excerpts
from the Constitution to the lines of riot police. "Tear up your union
cards, you rats," one man yelled at the blue wall of silence, "you ain't
on my side." Songs like "We will overcome" began spontaneously. At one
point, people began to hum the "Imperial March" ditty from Star Wars --
quite appropriate given the abundance of stormtrooper-esque plastic armor
and armored personnel carriers.
I left around 7:45 pm after a row of cops began to surround the crowd facing the barricade. By this time, several schoolbus-loads of prisoners had been removed. At least two more DC Metro buses were waiting in the wings.
Toronto - April 15 - A16 Protesters held a 3.30 pm rally at the US Embassy before marching down University Avenue to board buses for Washington. Canadian Action Party Leader Paul Hellyer addressed the crowd with a speech on the destructive policies of the International Monetary Fund. There were songs from the Raging Grannies. This Canadian group of protesters is a very peaceful group.
A16 from Mars by
Gary Morton - Apr.14.00
* There has been a spate of pre a16 articles. Just thought I'd leap into the competition.
The larger issue is globalization, and as a16 protests begin, Canada's liberal trade hero, Pierre Pettigrew, is in the news. He is declaring opposition to Free Trade dead, and blames the Seattle ruckus on the AFL-CIO. Pierre was there in Seattle working as a point man, trying to work out a last minute deal - any deal - for the WTO. He failed.
Pettigrew is beginning a cross-Canada speaking tour. I don't know the locations but it would be nice if some of the dead opposition busted up his party.
Pierre is touting a poll he says will be released showing that Canadians support Free Trade.
Fact is that Free Trade is just a buzzword - all trade is regulated in some manner and much of the opposition is to the fact that IMF/WTO regulation is a mechanism for stripping away democracy and sovereignty. It has little to do with Free Trade.
Pollsters and politicians create a psychological connection between the term Free Trade and prosperity, getting the public to think that it is something good, without ever looking deeper to the real issues.
A comparison would be to say that a poll has just revealed that Canadians Support Sending a Man to Mars, but in the poll we didn't tell the voters that when our man gets there he is going to surrender our sovereignty, democracy and way of life to the Martians. Or that a secret Martian triad called the IMF/WTO/WB will begin assuming control of Earth government behind the scenes.
The International Monetary Fund has simply gone too far. Just last week a billionaire was in the news demanding that the IMF punish the Russian parliament for ignoring the IMF's petty demands. It is clear that the world's financial elite feels that democracy must be subservient to a body of loan sharks. The debate is not about free trade or loans, it about the structure of government and democracy and world financial bodies bidding for absolute power.
They have to be stopped, just like
the Martians had to be stopped.
IMF Protests Arrests- Monday, April
Seven people were arrested in downtown Washington and traffic was tied up for 45 minutes this morning in the first street action of protests this week against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Police said three were arrested who were trying to lead a protest rally from the top of a rental truck, two others after they chained themselves to the vehicle and two others who officials said tried to unfurl a banner on the World Bank building.
The morning's protesters were among 40 to 60 members of two protest groups and independent activists who gathered at the World Bank building at 1818 H Street NW, about 8:30 a.m.
"We feel that the number one funder of global warming in the world is the World Bank," said Chris Ball, deputy director of D.C.-based Ozone Action.
D.C. Police arrested Beka Economopolous, with EcoPledge.com, John Passacantando, executive director of Ozone Action, and Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth. All three got on top of a rented truck and began to lead a protest rally with a megaphone, Ball said.
Two others described as independent activists were arrested after they chained themselves to the axle of the truck, said U.S. Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin. The chain had to be broken before police could remove them from the street, where they were sitting, Mackin said.
Two additional activists were arrested by Secret Service agents for attempting to climb support cables from a 10-foot-high awning they had climbed in order to unfurl a protest banner at the front of the building, Bell and Mackin said.
A Dozen Reasons to Come to DC for April 16
Wed, 5 Apr 2000 17:58:13 -0400 (EDT)
By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
The next citizen showdown against corporate globalization will be on April 16 and 17, when thousands of people come to Washington, D.C. to protest -- through legal demonstrations and/or civil disobedience -- the politics of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. For details on events, see www.a16.org. Here's a dozen reasons why you should join the protests:
1. IMF/World Bank structural adjustment programs have increased poverty around the world.
Structural adjustment -- the standard IMF/World Bank policy package which calls for slashing government spending, privatization, and opening up countries to exploitative foreign investment, among other measures -- has deepened poverty around the world. In the two regions with the most structural adjustment experience, per capita income has stagnated (Latin America) or plummeted (Africa). Structural adjustment has also contributed to rising income and wealth inequality in the developing world.
2. IMF/World Bank "debt relief" for poor and indebted countries is a sham.
Many poor countries must devote huge portions of their national budgets to paying back foreign creditors -- often for loans that were made to or for dictators, wasteful military spending or boondoggle projects. The money used to pay back debt subtracts from essential expenditures on health, education, infrastructure and other important needs.
The IMF/World Bank plan to relieve poor countries' debt burden will leave most poor countries paying nearly as much as they currently do. And all of the debt relief is conditioned on countries undergoing years of closely monitored structural adjustment.
3. The IMF has helped foster a severe depression in Russia.
Russia in the 1990s has witnessed a peacetime economic contraction of unprecedented scale -- with the number of Russians in poverty rising from 2 million to 60 million since the IMF came to post-Communist Russia. The IMF's "shock therapy" -- sudden and intense structural adjustment -- helped bring about this disaster. "In retrospect, it's hard to see what could have been done wrong that wasn't," says Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
4. The IMF helped create and worsen the Asian financial crisis.
The IMF encouraged Asian countries to open their borders to "hot money" -- speculative finance invested in currency, stocks and short-term securities. That was an invitation to trouble. The Asian financial crisis resulted from the hot money brokers' herdlike decision to leave Asian countries en masse.
Once the crisis hit, the IMF made things worse by requiring structural adjustment as a condition for IMF loans. The result was a surge in bankruptcies, layoffs and poverty. In Indonesia, poverty rates rose from an official level of 11 percent to 40 to 60 percent, depending on the estimate. At one point, Indonesia's food shortage became so severe that then-President Habibie implored citizens to fast twice a week. Many had no choice.
5. The IMF bails out big banks.
The IMF bailouts in Asia, like those in Russia and Mexico, directed money to those countries largely for the purpose of paying off loans to foreign banks. Thanks to the IMF, the banks escaped significant losses for imprudent lending decisions. Citigroup, Chase Manhattan and J.P. Morgan were among the beneficiaries of the "Korean" bailout.
6. IMF/World Bank structural adjustment programs devastate the environment.
Structural adjustment demands an increase in exports and foreign exchange earnings. As a result, explains Friends of the Earth, "Countries often over-exploit their resources through unsustainable forestry, mining and agricultural practices that generate pollution and environmental destruction."
7. IMF/World Bank structural adjustment programs contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Here's how Dr. Peter Lurie and collaborators explained the problem in the journal AIDS: The displacement of the rural sector under structural adjustment programs -- as imports undermine local farmers and the shift to large-scale plantations for exports further displaces the rural population -- contributes to migration and urbanization. Many men leave rural villages for work in big cities or in mines, contract HIV/AIDS from casual sex partners or sex workers, and then spread the disease to spouses in their home village. The displacement of children and young women into the cities has led to a sharp increase in commercial sex work and heightened rates of HIV/AIDS.
8. IMF/World Bank structural adjustment programs harm women.
Cuts in budget spending, mandated by structural adjustment programs, leave women to pick up the pieces -- with government services eliminated, women are forced to provide informal social supports for the sick and disabled. The IMF/Bank emphasis on exports has pushed women farmers to switch from growing food for family consumption to crops for exports -- and left them poorer in the process. The high interest rates associated with structural adjustment have made credit less accessible, undermining the viability of small women-owned businesses.
9. IMF/World Bank structural adjustment programs and Bank project loans have led to deforestation worldwide.
The export orientation demanded by structural adjustment policies has led to more forest cutting. And World Bank forest sector loans to countries around the world have done nothing to improve the situation.
"Although the [1991 Bank Forest] policy had dual objectives of conservation of tropical moist forests and tree planting to meet the basic needs of the poor, Bank influence on containing rates of deforestation of tropical moist forests has been negligible in the 20 countries with the most threatened tropical moist forests." Who said that? The World Bank's own Operations Evaluation Department, in November 1999!
10. World Bank policies have displaced millions of people around the world.
World Bank loans for dams and major infrastructure projects routinely require removal of massive numbers of people from their homes and destruction of their communities. In addition to the emotional hardship of leaving their land, the displaced people almost always find their quality of life diminished after the move. The Bank itself agrees. A 1994 report from the World Bank's Environmental Department found that, "Declines in post relocation incomes are sometimes significant, in certain cases reaching as much as 40 percent for people who were poor even before their displacement."
11. The World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) provides corporate welfare for environmentally destructive projects.
The IFC finances and provides advice for private sector ventures and projects in developing countries in partnership with private investors. Among its private sector partners: ExxonMobil, BP, Coca-Cola, Kimberly-Clark and Marriott. There's no reason for a public development institution, supposedly working to fight poverty, to lend its support to these well-endowed multinationals. Making matters worse, many of the private sector projects supported by the IFC, especially in the oil and gas sector, are environmentally destructive.
12. April 16 is a chance to make history.
While massive protests against IMF and World Bank policies are commonplace in the developing world -- from Jordan to Indonesia, Venezuela to Zambia -- the IMF and World Bank are not accountable to populations in those countries. In contrast, there has never been a demonstration of more than a few hundred people to challenge IMF and Bank policy in the United States -- the largest and most influential shareholder in the institutions.
That's going to change on April 16. The thousands of people who will attend the April 16 protests will forever change the political context of debates on IMF and the World Bank -- the best hope for billions in the developing world who have been subjected to the IMF and Bank's brutal policies with no recourse.
Special bonus reason to come to D.C.: With large puppets, colorful pagaentry, militant protests, Emcee Michael Moore at the legal demonstration on the Ellipse, and lots of great music, the protests will be a fun-filled festival of resistance.
(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
An International Jubilee 2000 Demonstration takes place on the12th of April in Paris - Mar.30.00
Jubilee reps say that little has been done in spite of lots of grand promises by the world's politicians on debt relief.
* Despite the promises, every day 19,000 children continue to die as a result of resources being diverted from health and education to servicing debts to the rich countries
* Despite the promises, by March 2000, only 3 countries had received debt relief under the agreement made by the G8 at Cologne in June 1999.
* Despite the promises, Mauritania, one of the few countries which received debt relief, will still be spending more on debt service than on education despite an adult illiteracy rate of 62%.
* Despite the promises, desperately poor countries like Haiti, Bangladesh and Nigeria have been totally excluded from the Cologne debt relief initiative.
Breaking the Bank? The Spirit of Seattle- Mar.15.00 - at Corporate Watch
On April 16 protestors will converge on Washington DC to demand global justice from the World Bank and IMF. Building on the ties forged at the WTO meeting in Seattle, a coalition of groups is demanding "global justice." Corporate Watch will be there, bringing you breaking news from the streets, the teach-ins and the IMF/World Bank meeting.
For coverage leading up to April 16th
International Monetary Fund Protest - MOBILIZATION FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE: Thousands will March in Washington April 16-17!
We need your support for the continuing struggle for economic justice. Endorse the Mobilization for Global Justice and join us in our protest against IMF and World Bank policies.
Web Site - http://www.a16.org - and join the e-mail listserv by sending a blank e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Building on the Energy from Seattle: The movement for global economic justice in the U.S., which has been building for years, had its coming-out party in Seattle at the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meetings. Our next big opportunity to demand a peaceful, people-centered, and environmentally-sound global economic system will be in April 2000 in Washington, DC. The nation's capital is the home of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group, whose backing by the wealthy governments of the North has made them the rule-makers for the global economy. The IMF and World Bank, more than any other institutions, are the coercive powers which have forced the global economy into its present shape. They were also instrumental in giving birth to the WTO. Their semi-annual meetings will be the occasion for a demonstration of our rejection of their rules and their system for imposing them.
For Media Activist organizing - http://lists.indymedia.org , select
Endorse the Mobilization http://www.a16.org/form_endorsement.html
Caravans and "spread-the-word!" roadshows are being assembled from across the country http://www.a16.org/caravan .
Direct Action Network list online: http://www.a16.org/a16_network.cfm
Articles at other sites:
The Progressive Review's coverage of A16 is now up at
The straight goods on the IMF/World Bank protests
by Holly Dressel
- An eyewitness dispatch from a Canadian on the scene.
At Indy Media - Apr.18.2000
- Photographer Beaten after Documenting Police Misconduct on A17
- Federal marshals club, pepperspray Tues. press conference attendees
- Global Justice is Not a "Nebulous Thing"
Leon Galindo, consultant to the World Bank and citizen of a developing county who was imprisoned for 23 hours for peaceful protesting, gives a personal account on the protests, the IMF and World Bank, and global justice.
- Day-by-day account of D.C.
news via tao.ca
- Protest Against Prisons Results In Mass Arrests
- Police move in on IMF, World Bank protesters. Riot police in Washington swarmed down on peaceful protesters late Saturday, on the eve of a meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
- Apr.16 - Anti-IMF protesters and cops face off in Washington
- Washington police arrest 600 in IMF, World Bank protests
At Indy Media - Sat.Apr.15.00
- Police invade IMF/WB Protest HQ
Police harassment of nonviolent protestors escalated today with an early morning raid of protest headquarters, known as the ?Convergence Space.? Approximately 200 activists were preparing for morning nonviolence trainings and eating breakfast when hundreds of District and federal officers arrived on the scene, and entered on the flimsy pretense of a fire inspection shortly after 8:30 a.m.
- Police again lose by winning
The Spirit of the Movement
- Apr.15.00 - Activities near the World Bank Building and the Mexican Embassy
by Daniesha Laquandria (Superdemocracy Foundation)
At Corporate Watch
- Apr.14.00 -USA: Forest Activists Protest World Bank and IMF
- Media Distortion of D.C. Protests Starts Early
- Statement of the Revoluntionary Anti-capitialist Bloc
- Does free trade help the world?s poor?
- Protests in Washington clash with media spin
Article at Village Voice
- Seattle, the Seqel
At Independent Media
- IMF denies community journalists access to its spring meetings - By: Lisa Sousa - 7 April, 2000
- Police Crack Down on IMF/World Bank Activists- Jason Vest