============================================================================ Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 20:36:08 -0700 To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••> From: Randy Schutt <•••@••.•••> Subject: arrests in DC IMF Protests Result in Arrests By Arthur Santana and Patti Davis Washington Post Staff Writers Monday, April 10, 2000; 2:32 PM 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. Hundreds of protesters have come to the city to protest policies of the World Bank and of the IMF during the groups' spring meetings, which start Tuesday. They say they hope to build on the momentum of protests against the WTO that turned ugly in Seattle, resulting in disruption of the meetings and teargassing of protesters. The planned protests in Washington include lobbying on Capitol Hill and a labor-oriented protest against trade policy toward China. Organizers say they hope to block people from attending the meetings next Sunday and Monday with non-violent civil disobedience. 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. The three on top of the truck, which was parked in front of the building and which was blocking two lanes of traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue, were ordered down by police and arrested after they didn't obey, police 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. One woman on the awning accidentally cut her arm and was taken to D.C. General Hospital for treatment, Mackin said. The two were charged with unlawful entry, said D.C. Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile. The six others were taken to the 2nd Police District for processing. The five protesters on the truck will be charged with failure to obey police, and additional charged may be pending, Mackin said. Some of the protesters were paying a $100 fine and being released this morning, Gentile said. "The arrests were expected," Ball said. "The protesters felt it was worth getting arrested to get their message out." The area was cleared about 9:35 a.m. In an apparently unrelated demonstration, about 1,000 people staged a peaceful protest this morning outside the headquarters of the American Staffing Association in Old Town Alexandria. Members of a group called the National Peoples Action said they were protesting low wages and "ball-and-chain benefits" of workers employed by ASA members. "They're making big bucks off these people," said Charlene Dalton, a member of the Communities United for Action, which also participated in the protest. She said the protesters had come from 38 states. Richard Wahlquist, executive vice president of ASA, denied the allegations, saying that "the data does not support the claim that the industry is not paying good wages." He said the ASA is an association whose members operate 14,000 offices that provide staffing services. He said ASA members work hard to transition workers into better-paying jobs. The protesters held signs and flyers calling the ASA the "American Sweatshop Association." Wahlquist said that about 300 protesters had demonstrated outside his Fairfax home on Sunday. After today's protest, Wahlquist met with leaders of the demonstration and agreed to discuss sending ASA representatives to a meeting the protest group is holding in Chicago next month. Both Wahlquist and several of the protesters said the rally in the 200 block of South Washington Street was not related to planned demonstrations this week by opponents of global capitalism. "I think it's entirely coincidental," Wahlquist said. Police said the 1,000 or so demonstrators came in 22 buses. There were no arrests, they said. At lunchtime, several hundred people gathered at L'Enfant Plaza in the District; but that protest also was apparently unrelated to the IMF meetings. Those demonstrators were congregating about subsidized housing. Randy Schutt P.O. Box 60922, Palo Alto, CA 94306 <http://www.vernalproject.org> ============================================================================ Delivered-To: moderator for •••@••.••• Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 00:41:30 +0600 To: (Recipient list suppressed) From: "Wendell W. Solomons" <•••@••.•••> Subject: Media Boomerang for Protestors in DC Greetings! I'm in the East and closer to sunrise (6 hours ahead of Greenwich.) I am doing my piece and passing the baton on to you. I caught the first TV transmission here about the rallies at 11 p.m. CNN featured it on the regular news. I was waiting to see whether a party line would develop for media. This is the persuasion I saw. * They showed bespectacled protester Ms Bloch near a poster. She said that little help is being given to the needy and poverty is breaking through the floor. A black World Bank official identifiable from a poor country (not President Wolfenson and rich country aides) was shown at his desk. This man said with a smile that the Bank helps the poor. The news presenter added that the World Bank says that the concerns of the Bank and the protestors are one and the same. CNN put in old footage to flash back to the founding of the World Bank and the IMF. What was not featured was the charge of debt inducement, which Marc Bombais (VP Canadian Action Party) expressed to the World Bank in connection with its World Development Report. This then could be the party line evolved for media: that the concerns of the protestors are being attended to by the World Bank. The protesters are thus painted as being redundant. They might as well be moved off the sidewalk by the police and packed off home so that IMF/World Bank professionals can get on with their work. * In propaganda this method is called boomerang. Let the words of the protestors fall back on their own head. Linguist Naom Chomsky jumped on the protest bandwagon quite belatedly (so as not to be left behind; he aspirated in The Nation, of April 24th.) Chomsky will of course not provide a solution from textbook semantics. Tackling the boomerang of media nomenklatura will therefore be something for others in semantics, rhetoric, logic, advertising and law (court craft) to work out. One method of avoiding being held up for ridicule through use of the technique of boomerang is to state a clear contention that the boomerang does not address. To raise too many points confuses the audience and thus ensures the planned success of the boomerang. The party line had sunk into the CNN reporter speaking from the street outside the World Bank. CNN had not picked a conventional Christiana Amanpour type but a fairly young woman outfitted with straight hair and round, wire spectacles. She quite looked like a college demonstrator but gave away the party line by smirking throughout her performance. Perhaps it is the debt-inducement aspect ... that should be sustained, that poor countries are poorer despite the taxpayer resources that go into the IMF/IBRD and the lavish pay checks and socialized benefits that its officials keep to themselves. ---<snip>--- ================ Dear Wendell, Speaking of boomerangs, I notice that for some people every topic - no matter where it flys - eventually returns to their pet subject. For me, it's something like 'capitalism vs.democracy', for others its 'money-creation', 'the environment', 'multinationals'... or 'debt'. Debating which of our pet topics is 'central' can be counter-productive - like arguing about Titanic deck chairs while heading to our watery fate. Better we would collaborate to find a life boat. The Seattle and DC rebellions have been inclusive - all are welcome - and from what I've heard internal strife has been minimal, and mostly between those wanting to trash and who believe that such actions are unwise. I think it would be be bad strategy to try to ideologically narrow the focus of these rebellions, especially from the sidelines. Part of 'being there' is meeting people from other causes, and dialoging in workshops, and building links. It's a process of broadening, not of narrowing, of learning of others concerns, not of debating them. It's a community-building process more than an ideological process. This, I suggest, is how we will find our lifeboats. As for media coverage - we cannot rely on it to serve our purposes, and we cannot prevent it from undermining the movement. The media is powerful, its practioners are masters of manipulation, and the mission of the media is to protect the very regime that we must dethrone. If we build our tactics around media games we will be drawn away from our own center. Let 'them' can say what they will; the movement must become responsible for disseminating information in other ways. One of the exciting developments in Seattle was the ad hoc creation of media collectives, leading to the production and distribution of some good video docs. We might do well to think of the media the way Hollywood stars do - if we're being covered at all, the media is doing us a favor. BTW> Thanks for the heads-up on the media's boomerang tactics. The next item below expands on that. best regards, rkm ============================================================================ From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••> Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 20:16:42 -0700 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The burning question of the day remains: What happens the day after? ... The question of "what happens after" gains crucial importance because of what it signals in self-development and self-flowering - revolution in permanence. No one knows what it is, or can touch it, before it appears. It is not the task that can be fulfilled in just one generation. That is why it remains so elusive, and why the abolition of the division between mental and manual labor sounds utopian. It has the future written all over it. The fact that we cannot give a blueprint does not absolve us from the task. It only makes it more difficult. -Raya Dunayevskaya 1987 ============================================================================ Delivered-To: moderator for •••@••.••• Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 14:28:18 -0700 To: •••@••.••• From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••> Subject: IMF Official Defends Globalization ---<fwd>--- Thursday April 13 2000 IMF Official Defends Globalization By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - International Monetary Fund and Clinton administration officials on Thursday defended their efforts to promote freer trade and greater integration of the global economy, contending they offered the best hope of lifting hundreds of millions of people out of abject poverty. Globalization - the bane of thousands of demonstrators in the nation's capital this week who contend that global capitalism has failed to help the poor - has gotten a bad rap, said acting IMF Managing Director Stanley Fischer. The demonstrators, seeking to build on their success in disrupting World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle last year, have vowed to form human chains and prevent delegates to the IMF and World Bank meetings from attending Sunday's opening sessions. In a preview of larger protests planned this weekend, dozens of sign-carrying demonstrators chanting "WTO has got to go" and carrying a puppet labeled WTO Director General Mike Moore, marched to the National Press Club in an effort to confront Moore, who was giving a noontime speech. Five demonstrators who began shouting slogans were removed from the press club, but police said no arrests were made. Moore said critics of the Geneva-based WTO "are not all wrong. We are now in the process of examining how we can be more transparent, more efficient, more inclusive." He said it was "heartbreaking" that the Seattle events resulted in a delay in addressing demonstrators' concerns because the 135 trade ministers could not launch a new round of global negotiations. Both Fischer and Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said the demonstrators were wrong in blaming global capitalism for problems of poverty, environmental pollution and human rights abuses. Greater integration of the global economy is both inevitable and a force for improving living standards, they said. Globalization "represents the only way we are going to raise people around the world to the same level as people in industrialized countries," Fischer said. Summers told reporters the United States would use this year's IMF and World Bank meetings to continue pushing reforms to make both institutions more accountable and open. In response to criticism over the handling of the selection of Germany's Horst Koehler as the new IMF chief, Summers said the United States would propose that both the IMF and World Bank in the future appoint outside advisory committees to review potential candidates to ensure that the "views and interests of all countries" are considered. Police, who had already established a security perimeter around both the IMF and neighboring World Bank buildings, increased security Thursday following the Wednesday night arrests of seven protesters and the confiscation of equipment that they allegedly planned to use for blockades. Police made the arrests after stopping two vehicles filled with "lock boxes," lengths of PVC pipes that demonstrators can use to lock arms and make it difficult to break a "human chain." Police said they also confiscated chicken wire and duct tape and charged the seven with possession of implements of crime. Thus far, 15 protesters have been arrested, and Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey declared that police were prepared for mass arrests. "We could make thousands, but I hope we don't have to make any," Ramsey said at a news conference where the metal and plastic pipes seized from the two vehicles were displayed. About 50 peaceful demonstrators gathered at George Washington University, located in the same Foggy Bottom neighborhood, to protest the university's decision to close for the weekend and ban students from having visitors in their dorm rooms. They carried signs reading, "GWU: Serve the students, not corporate greed." The World Bank on Thursday released a new assessment of global poverty that highlighted how the global financial crisis of 1997-98 had hurt efforts to alleviate poverty, widening the divide between rich and poor. The report said that while the poverty rate did decline in some large countries, notably China, it rose in many other nations in 1998, the latest year for which data is available. Some 1.2 billion people were forced to get by on less than $1 a day, the report found, a figure essentially unchanged over the past decade. Fischer, a former economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the demonstrations would not stop his agency from addressing reform measures, including greater debt relief for poor countries. "We have the same goal as the demonstrators. We want to reduce poverty all over the world," Fischer said. On the Net: Treasury Department: http://www.ustreas.gov/ Mobilization for Global Justice, site for protesters: http://www.a16.org International Monetary Fund: http://www.imf.org World Bank: http://www.worldbank.org ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• CDR website: http://cyberjournal.org cyberjournal archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ book in progress: http://cyberjournal.org/cdr/gri.html A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Capitalism is not the same as free enterprise - it is a very specialized ideology which holds the accumulation of wealth as the only economic value, and which demands that such economics dominate all other societal values. -- rkm Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .