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“I can only hope that the movement learns from its complete and utter failure in the fall of 2010, but unfortunately, I’m not holding my breath.”

March 15, 2011, 7:15 PM

In watching the various anti-World Bank and anti-IMF events get announced online at imfresistance.org for the weekend of April 15-17 (what do you know – a third A16!), one event stood out among the rest. And here it is:

What: Music to Smash Capitalism
Where: Freedom Plaza – 14th & Pennsylvania Ave NW
When: 7-10pm
Details: Free Outdoor Punk Show!

And then immediately below that:

What: Nocturnal Anti-Capitalist Action
Details: TBA

Sound familiar? This sounds suspiciously like what happened on Saturday night for the World Bank and IMF protests last fall. And we all know what a resounding success that was, heh heh.

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Categories: World Bank

When your entire march’s message is “f— the police”, you have lost sight of the forest for the trees…

October 10, 2010, 10:59 PM

What a frustrating weekend.

As you know if you read my previous entry, this weekend was the fall 2010 meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, held in Washington DC. I have demonstrated against the World Bank and IMF on seven different occasions prior to this weekend, most recently prior to this in the spring of 2009. This weekend’s demonstrations were perhaps the worst anti-IMF demonstrations that I have ever attended. They were disorganized, and no one was willing to step up to the plate and even so much as try to keep the group on message.

First of all, there was Friday’s demonstration. As it turned out, the 10:30 meeting point at 16th and Harvard Streets was basically a pickup spot for an ongoing demonstration. I showed up in plenty of time, and when the bloc swooped through, I, along with about four others plus Luke, joined it. That should have been a red flag right there – the group was in and out in less than two minutes, rather than staying at the announced meeting point for any appreciable length of time in case people were late or anything.

As it turned out, this bloc had already lost sight of its message. There was no anti-IMF message going on here, but rather they were trying desperately to keep a step ahead of the police. The bloc was going up and down neighborhood streets, moving water-filled plastic Jersey barriers to slow down the police. Additionally, they were dragging newspaper boxes out into the street, again to slow down police. And if all you’re doing is trying to stay ahead of the police, you have lost your way.

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Categories: Black bloc, World Bank

Friday is going to be a VERY long day…

October 7, 2010, 11:04 PM

Yes, indeed… Friday will be a very long day. I’m working all day, and then demonstrating well into the night. See, this weekend is the semi-annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), and as such, demonstrations will be held. I have been really bad about World Bank/IMF demonstrations as of late, having missed demonstrations for both the fall 2009 meetings and the spring 2010 meetings. So I’m itching to go to this one.

The weekend will be full of various events – according to DC Indymedia, there were events on Thursday, and then Friday will have three events. There will be a noontime march that I’m going to miss on account of work, and then a block party in Washington Circle starting at 5:30 that I’m also going to miss (too far plus office social event right around that time). Then at 10:30 PM at 16th and Harvard Streets NW (seriously – that far north), there will be an “Anticapitalist Night of Action”. Then Saturday will have what appears to be a family-friendly event at Freedom Plaza from noon to 8 PM, after which time a “roving street party” will take off. Finally, Sunday will have a consulta to discuss future meetings.

I’m currently planning to attend the “Anticapitalist Night of Action” on Friday and the day event on Saturday, plus the street party. The Friday event, though, makes me nervous. I anticipate it will be a black bloc event, and it also concerns me that it’s starting that far north. No idea what its goals are, but I hope it’s not just to wreak havoc in the town. After all, some of us are in the area on a regular basis, and I don’t like having to explain to my mother why my friends broke windows and such. Likewise, a number of my coworkers live in that general area, and I don’t want to have to explain to them why my anarchist friends messed up their neighborhoods. The meeting point is roughly where Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Mount Pleasant come together. This is not an area that is well known for political institutions. Adams Morgan is primarily known as a bar district, Columbia Heights is an area that is quickly gentrifying, and Mount Pleasant is residential.

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Categories: Black bloc, World Bank

It was short, but it was a lot of fun…

April 27, 2009, 10:14 PM

So as expected, I went to the mainstream march for the World Bank/IMF protests. It was a lot of fun, though it only lasted for about 90 minutes. Thus this was short as far as protests go. But it was spirited, and went off without a hitch.

The march met up on Sunday at 2:00 PM in Dupont Circle. The crowd was diverse, as the World Bank affects a very diverse swath of humanity. Before the crowd of approximately 150 people stepped off on the march, people gave speeches:

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Categories: Fire alarms, World Bank

I am shocked…

April 26, 2009, 12:58 AM

According to Luke, it would seem that the protests today against the World Bank and the IMF in DC this weekend turned hot and heavy on Saturday, with pepper spray and injuries:

I literally watched this video open-mouthed, as I was shocked by what I saw, as the protests turned ugly. I also realized that I really dodged a bullet on this one, because if not for the fact that I needed a day to prepare for a trip out of town next week, I would have probably been right in the thick of this battle in the streets, where pepper spray was used on demonstrators, and protesters were allegedly sent over a fence and into a park, and one demonstrator was sent to the hospital for a broken leg.

I consider many of these anti-capitalist demonstrators as my friends, and would hate to see anything happen to any of them. This distresses me greatly. I am planning on turning out for the mainstream march on the same issue on Sunday at 2 PM in Dupont Circle, and hopefully I will see all of my friends show up to that demonstration uninjured, and that the prognosis for those injured is good.

Categories: World Bank

Why is it that I always seem to finish photo set projects at two in the morning?

March 1, 2009, 2:49 AM

Yep… it’s almost 3 AM on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, and in the last hour or so, I finally finished Midnight March, which is about a protest against the World Bank and IMF during their fall 2008 meetings.

This set was more challenging than most protest sets I’ve shot. I’ve done plenty of protest marches before, both in daylight, as well as at night. I believe my most recent nighttime protest photo before that one was October Rebellion, specifically the Georgetown march. That was shot in some of the worst weather conditions that I had ever experienced during a protest march. After all, it was raining hard, and it was cold. Plus everyone was on edge due to the way that march was promoted. But for Midnight March, I had the weather on my side, as the skies were completely clear. And it was only slightly cool outside, much to my delight. Very comfortable protest weather. But the camera was something of an unknown quantity. I had barely done any shooting at night with the Kodak, with most of the nighttime shooting consisting of two Anon raids, and a day out with Katie. And all those were cases where I could carefully line up my shots. Can’t do that at a protest march, unfortunately. You have to go with the flow and keep up with the crowd.

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And here we are…

October 21, 2007, 1:30 PM

And here we are, RCDC, on October 20 in Franklin Square:

RCDC on October 20, photo Mike Flugennock
Photo: Mike Flugennock

In this photo, I’m second from the right, next to Maddy. You may recognize the outfit I’ve got on – yes, it’s the same one that I wore last halloween. The other people in the group loved it. So finally, my radical cheer outfit has seen an actual protest. Score!

Categories: World Bank

“Loosen the bra that binds you! Take it off if you feel like it!”

October 21, 2007, 11:28 AM

Let’s just say that it was a great march on October 20. The Georgetown march the day before went well aside from one incident where a bystander was struck by a projectile, but this one had no such incidents. The cheer group did its thing, and we were awesome. We cheered at the main rally, we cheered along the march route, and we cheered at the World Bank itself.

What really surprised me about Saturday’s march, though, is what happened once we got there, when a number of women began taking their clothes off en masse, shouting, “World Bank out! Skin is in!” while also encouraging other people to do likewise. I was quite literally speechless, as I couldn’t believe people were stripping in the streets. I, in fact, didn’t even take photos of the scene at first, until Maddy finally basically said, “Don’t be such a prude.” But yeah, some women stripped down to their bra and panties, some just took their shirts off and left the bra intact, while others went completely topless. No one went totally naked. The guys who participated just took their shirts off. Some of the photos will probably end up in the photo set, but I’m still trying to figure out how to display those photos without being explicit about it. They’re going to go up on the site for the sake of completeness, but as Mom and others look at the site, I’m going to clean the photos up a little bit to keep the site at a certain caliber. After all, this isn’t a porn site – this is Schumin Web.

Then after the protest, I went home, changed out of my cheer outfit and into more normal clothes, hopped in the Sable, and rode out to Dulles, where Mom had some teacher convention this weekend. According to her, it went swimmingly. Mom and I had dinner at this little Italian restaurant called “Pomodoro Pizza Pasta & More”, which was kind of like, as Mom described it, the McDonald’s of Italian restaurants. You ordered your food at the counter, and you got your own drink out of the fountain, and they gave you your order on a giant tray to take to your table. However, unlike a fast food restaurant, where everything is disposable, they served you your food on real plates, you had real silverware, and real cups. And the food was good, too. Mom and I both enjoyed it.

So all in all, not a bad day. There’s going to be a new photo set called “October Rebellion” in Life and Times, and what a weekend it was…

Categories: World Bank

And we’re on the flip side of the “rowdy” march…

October 20, 2007, 8:09 AM

Just as an update, I made it to the flip side of the rowdy march. That was something, with everyone in full black bloc going through Georgetown on a very wet night. But most people got out unscathed, and to my knowledge, no pepper spray was used on anyone. But that was an intense little march.

But we made it through. We were soaked, mind you, but we made it through. Now today is the permitted rally. This should be pretty tame, but draw a bigger crowd.

Remember – the cheer group meets at 10:30 at Tenleytown Metro and then will ride down together, and the main rally is at 12:30 at Franklin Square.

Categories: Black bloc, World Bank

It’s short notice from me, but…

October 19, 2007, 12:04 PM

World Bank protests this weekend in DC! Friday night (as in TONIGHT) at 9:00 PM at Washington Circle kicks off the “rowdy” march through Georgetown. Who knows how long that will run, but I’m bringing goggles, if that gives you any idea about what kind of march I’m anticipating this to be.

Meanwhile, Saturday at 12:30 at Franklin Square is the march that I’m really looking forward to. That’s the one where we’re cheering! Anyone who wants to cheer should meet at Tenleytown-AU Metro station at 10:30 AM tomorrow on the side where the AU shuttle picks up. That would be the entrance that’s not in front of Best Buy (Hollywood Video and Whole Foods are on that side). We’ve got a whole new cheer going on, and it’s going to be a real hit, about third-world debt. And I’m going to be dressed in my complete radical cheerleading outfit. Look for it. It’s going to be fun.

Categories: World Bank

This is looking like it’s going to be a fun weekend…

October 16, 2007, 11:36 PM

It’s looking like it’s going to be a fun weekend coming up, with the protests surrounding the meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. And I’m psyched about it, considering it’s been a year and a half since the last time we protested this organization. Friday, I’m partaking in a “rowdy” march through Georgetown, and then Saturday, I’m participating in a more conventional march.

Friday’s “rowdy” march meets at 9:00 PM (yes, 9:00 at night) in Washington Circle. Hope to see you there. Considering the unspecified “rowdy” nature of the march, I’m going in full black bloc, and probably bringing goggles as well, just in case. Can’t be too careful, after all.

Then Saturday’s march starts at Franklin Square (i.e. take Metro to McPherson Square). For that march, I’m planning on getting together with RCDC, where I’ll be doing some radical cheerleading. So yeah, my radical cheerleading costume from last halloween is finally going to see the sun at an actual protest. I can’t wait. Then I have cheerleading practice for Saturday on Thursday night. This way I can get the moves down pat, because on September 15, the last time I was with RCDC, I didn’t have the moves down, and so you could see a “learning curve” as the day progressed. By the way, if this whole thing of my being affiliated with a local radical cheerleading group is coming as news to you, that’s okay. It goes with the Life and Times set for the September 15 protest, which has not yet been released.

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Categories: World Bank

Score!

September 21, 2007, 2:53 PM

Look at this…

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It’s done…

October 14, 2005, 11:57 PM

Finally, my September 24 photo set is finished. Three weeks from shooting to completion. Of course, this means that now I don’t have to look at my photos from September 24 for a while. For let me tell you… when you do a photo set, particularly a large one like September 24 (121 photos plus 14 movies), trust me when I say you can get tired of looking at the photos.

But I’m quite proud of the set. I covered the Mobilization for Global Justice’s feeder march, I covered the ANSWER/UFPJ march, I covered the Freepers, plus I met up with Mom after it was all over.

Now the next photo set in the hopper is from my vacation to the beach. I’m also working on some anti-war stuff for Wikipedia, and some stuff about the Metro, also for Wikipedia.

I also have the 2005 redesign to think about, and I can tell you this – it’s getting later and later every year. The annual redesign was originally in September when I first started doing redesigns annually in 1999. Then it was moved up to July in 2001. Then 2004’s was in October. Now, since I have a backlog of photo sets, and since I generally like the way the Web site currently looks and operates, I’m thinking about doing a very minor redesign on the site, mainly to correct any shortcomings on this design that turned up in the year we’ve had it.

A16… and what a day it was!

April 17, 2005, 10:15 PM

April 16, 2005 was definitely an interesting day for all involved. It was on this day that a large demonstration against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund was planned. As is the usual case with days that I go to big demonstrations, I fit the trip into the framework of my regular trips to Washington DC that I make every two weeks or so. The big difference on this trip, though, was that I took my sister with me. I normally don’t take anyone with me when I go on my DC trips. It’s just me. Last time I took anyone to DC with me was when Mom and Sis and I went to Washington DC on August 9, 2003, when we did my A Day in DC photo set. Since then, I’d met both Dad and Mom on trips to Washington DC in April 2004 and July 2004 respectively, but since our agendas were so different, each made their way up to DC separately.

So at the early hour of 5 AM, Sis and I set off for Washington DC, but not before the car gave us trouble starting up. Don’t know what caused that, since it was working fine the day before, and also worked fine on the rest of the trip. So who knows. On the way up, we made my usual stops – one at the Sheetz in Mt. Jackson, and once at Wal-Mart in Manassas. Sis got to give the self-checkouts in Manassas a whirl, and we got a shot of that:

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What a day in Washington I had on Saturday…

October 3, 2004, 11:10 PM

I was up early, and in bed late, to say the least. What I did was cover two, count ’em, two political demonstrations on October 2, for a photo set I’m going to do for Schumin Web.

The first one was an anti-war funeral procession. Basically a rally and march, but with a more solemn funeral type atmosphere. They carried 100 cardboard coffins (designed to represent real ones, as you would expect) from Arlington National Cemetery to the Ellipse near the White House. At Arlington National Cemetery, speeches were given, and then the coffins were picked up, and the marchers marched. I photographed all over, and took movies. On the way into Washington, near the entrance to Arlington Cemetery Metro station (by the way, this is where I dropped out of the march, because I had other fish to fry that day as well), we encountered the counter-protesters, basically protesting the protesters. These are the ones who disagree with the marchers, and are voicing their dissent with the marchers’ viewpoints.

So after photographing the counter-protesters, and taking movies of them, and unfortunately not being allowed by Park Police to venture in between the line of police in the street and the counter-protesters in order to get shots of some of the signage the counter-protesters carried, I headed into Arlington Cemetery station, to head over to protest target #2.

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Categories: Anti-war, DC trips, World Bank