rn: September in Wash. DC


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,

Of course I am supportive of people organizing the upcoming Washington DC
protests, including Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, whose invitation
to the protests and teach-ins is below.

But I can't help but be surprised that they would assure people they would
"have fun". Am I so out of things here in rural Nova Scotia that I missed
out on how "fun" these protests can be?

I think we must not give up on confrontation AND we must work to prevent
violence. ... And so I'm sending you a third message today as well!

all the best, jan
Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2001 20:09:09 -0700
To: •••@••.•••
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
Subject: September in Washington, D.C.

>September in Washington, D.C.
>By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
>This year, at the end of September, the maturing anti-corporate
>globalization movement is poised to make history. During the fall meetings
>of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, tens of thousands
>of people will come to Washington, D.C. to denounce the institutions'
>policies, and to challenge the logic of corporate globalization.
>If you can make it to Washington, D.C. for the protests, teach-ins and
>cultural events, make the effort. You will learn a lot, have fun, and make
>a difference. (A calendar of events is posted at the Mobilization for
>Global Justice's website, www.globalizethis.org. Information on a teach-in
>for action presented by Essential Action and other groups is posted at
>This year's demonstrations and activities build on the success of last
>year's April 16 protests against the IMF and World Bank, while promising
>to be both broader and more strategically focused.
>The key achievement of A16 was shining a spotlight on the IMF and World
>Bank. While people from Argentina to Zambia have conducted mass protests
>against the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World
>Bank over the last 20 years, the institutions have managed to escape
>critical scrutiny in the United States. Unfortunately, however, the IMF
>and World Bank are not accountable to developing countries, whereas they
>are to the United States and other creditor countries. It is protest and
>media attention in the United States that most worries the IMF and Bank.
>This fall's protests against the IMF and World Bank are sure to replicate
>and surpass A16 in energy, turnout and media attention.
>They will benefit as well from much deeper involvement of organized labor.
>Last year, the AFL-CIO and a number of major U.S. unions endorsed the A16
>rally. This year, the AFL-CIO is devoting substantial staff and financial
>resources for the large September 30 rally -- planned in conjunction with
>the Mobilization for Global Justice and several other organizations -- and
>is making a significant effort to turn out union members.
>Organized labor's involvement marries the institutional influence and
>powerful membership of the AFL-CIO and affiliate unions with the energy,
>passion, creativity and turnout capacity of the street protestors. The
>partnership has the capacity to push forward shared demands of the IMF and
>World Bank and to leverage real change at the institutions.
>The Mobilization for Global Justice has crafted four inter-related demands
>for the IMF and Bank. These demands follow from priority concerns of Third
>World labor unions, debt campaigners, environmentalists and other allies.
>The first demand is for the IMF and World Bank to open all of their
>meetings to the public and media, and to make all key lending documents 
>Second, the IMF and World Bank must cancel the debts owed them by
>impoverished countries, using their existing resources.
>Third, the Mobilization for Global Justice calls on the IMF and World Bank
>to end the "structural adjustment" policies -- 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 -- that hinder people's access to food,
>clean water, shelter, healthcare, education and the right to organize.
>Organizers are focusing particular attention on IMF and World
>Bank-mandated "user fees" -- charges -- that impede access to primary 
>Finally, the World Bank must end all support for socially and
>environmentally destructive projects, such as oil, mining and gas
>activities, and large dams.
>Each of these demands is specific and achievable. They are connected to
>ongoing international campaigns, meaning the energy and attention
>generated by the demonstrations will not simply dissipate when the
>protesters go home. Some version of each of the demands is under
>consideration in the U.S. Congress.
>Over the years, environmentalists in particular have won some important,
>though partial, victories at the World Bank. But by and large, the
>institutions have remained impervious to criticism.
>In the last couple years, there has been a rhetorical revolution at the
>Bank and especially the IMF, with all activities now described in terms of
>poverty reduction. But the rhetorical shift forced on the institutions by
>the international jubilee (debt cancellation) movement and A16 have not
>been matched by comparable changes in policy.
>The convergence of forces around this fall's protests in Washington
>contains the potential not to just shine a light on the IMF and World
>Bank's abuses, or to win rhetorical concesions, but to galvanize existing
>campaigns to limit the power of the institutions, and to begin to force
>meaningful changes in the institutions' policies.
>This opportunity may not repeat itself. That's why it is vital that those
>who can come to Washington, do.
>Washington, D.C. at the end of September. It will be a lovely place to be.
>Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime
>Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based
>Multinational Monitor and co-director of Essential Action, a corporate
>accountability group. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The
>Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common
>Courage Press, 1999).   (c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
>Focus on the Corporation is a weekly column written by Russell Mokhiber
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