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A16: The World Bank and IMF Demonstrations

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4

Part 1

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 (IMF) was planned, to coincide with the aforementioned organizations’ spring meetings.  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, Ann Schumin, 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 – the Sheetz in Mt. Jackson, and the Wal-Mart in Manassas.


Sis got to give the IBM self checkouts in Manassas a whirl for the first time on our trip.  These are different than the ones in the store where we work.

Sis got to give the IBM self checkouts in Manassas a whirl for the first time on our trip.  These are different than the ones in the store where we work.


Traffic in the DC area, being a Saturday, was light, and we arrived at Vienna at 8:30 AM, which was earlier than I expected, but it still worked out.  So Sis and I bought our farecards, and caught the railfan window of Breda 3086 on our way to Rosslyn.

At Rosslyn, since we were so ahead of schedule, we compensated.  Any good schedule has provisions for where to make adjustments.  So after considering our options, and since the Express isn’t published on the weekends, we had to decide what to do.  Sis had the idea of going to visit Freedom Park, which I’ve visited twice before – once in March 2002 while doing my Freedom Is Not Free photo set, and once in November 2002 with Mom and Sis on the way back from the Iwo Jima Memorial.  So we started at one end, and worked our way through, past the Journalists’ Memorial, past the various symbols of freedom, and finally past the sections of the Berlin Wall.


I think of all the things there, seeing the Journalists' Memorial in the bright sunlight was perhaps the best view of all.  The colored glass also left an interesting effect on the sidewalks.  I think of all the things there, seeing the Journalists' Memorial in the bright sunlight was perhaps the best view of all.  The colored glass also left an interesting effect on the sidewalks.

I think of all the things there, seeing the Journalists’ Memorial in the bright sunlight was perhaps the best view of all.  The colored glass also left an interesting effect on the sidewalks.

I think of all the things there, seeing the Journalists' Memorial in the bright sunlight was perhaps the best view of all.  The colored glass also left an interesting effect on the sidewalks.  I think of all the things there, seeing the Journalists' Memorial in the bright sunlight was perhaps the best view of all.  The colored glass also left an interesting effect on the sidewalks.


After that, we swung around past the hole in the ground that was formerly 1117 North 19th Street and will be turned into the Waterview, and back to Rosslyn Center.  As it was still really early, we took a walk in the other direction, across the skywalk network.  We ended up about two blocks away from Rosslyn Center, at the end of the skywalks.  There were some tables there, and we sat and made conversation.


Going past Rosslyn Center on our way across, we found that the work on the Metro pylon on the second-floor level was complete, and the pylon once again looks like a Metro pylon should.  On March 30, 2005, the last time I was by here before this trip, this pylon was bare and about to be refinished as part of Metro's station enhancement program.  Going past Rosslyn Center on our way across, we found that the work on the Metro pylon on the second-floor level was complete, and the pylon once again looks like a Metro pylon should.  On March 30, 2005, the last time I was by here before this trip, this pylon was bare and about to be refinished as part of Metro's station enhancement program.

Going past Rosslyn Center on our way across, we found that the work on the Metro pylon on the second-floor level was complete, and the pylon once again looks like a Metro pylon should.  On March 30, 2005, the last time I was by here before this trip, this pylon was bare and about to be refinished as part of Metro’s station enhancement program.


The high-rises of Rosslyn as seen from the spot where Sis and I sat.  Rosslyn certainly is full of modernist structures, don't you think?  The high-rises of Rosslyn as seen from the spot where Sis and I sat.  Rosslyn certainly is full of modernist structures, don't you think?

The high-rises of Rosslyn as seen from the spot where Sis and I sat.  Rosslyn certainly is full of modernist structures, don’t you think?


Then as it was getting towards the time to go to the demonstration, which would be starting at Murrow Park at noon, we headed back over to Rosslyn Center, and then to the train.  As I wanted to get there early, we headed into the station at around 11:15, and rode a Breda rehab over to Farragut West.

There, it was a short walk to Murrow Park, across the street from the World Bank, where the rally, sponsored by the Mobilization for Global Justice and the Jubilee USA Network, was already underway at 11:30.


At 11:30, when Sis and I arrived at Murrow Park, the A16 rally was not only already underway, but already well attended, too!

At 11:30, when Sis and I arrived at Murrow Park, the A16 rally was not only already underway, but already well attended, too!


Arriving at Murrow Park, Sis immediately found people selling buttons and such, and bought some.  I, meanwhile, checked out the area, which is my usual practice at these kinds of events.  I was also pleased to see that unlike in the fall, when a huge area around the World Bank was barricaded off with large, black fences, with Murrow Park penned in on three sides, this time it was far less intense, using smaller crowd-control barriers around the building itself.


A gentleman sells buttons and t-shirts, and gives out fake dollar bills with various sites' URLs on them.

A gentleman sells buttons and t-shirts, and gives out fake dollar bills with various sites’ URLs on them.


Finding black bloc demonstrators already present in significant numbers, I asked Sis, “Are you ready to join the black bloc?” and passed her a bandanna, which she then proceeded to wear on top of her head, which I then questioned.  I “masked up” in the normal style of black blocs.  Sis’s comment was twofold.  First was that she was being a nonconformist among the nonconformists, and secondly, “You look like Jesse James!”  That was interesting, indeed.


Sis wore that bandanna on her head, and kept it there, being a nonconformist among the nonconformists.

Sis wore that bandanna on her head, and kept it there, being a nonconformist among the nonconformists.


So Sis and I wandered around for a while, each of us taking photos of things we found interesting.  I led the way, and Sis followed nearby.  Some of the more noticeable features right up front were people wearing cardboard cylinders on their heads, that had a face painted on them as well as top hats with the name of a company on it.  There were also large street puppets out and about with messages on them.

Elsewhere in Murrow Park, there were all sorts of signs and banners present, covering the World Bank and IMF issue from a number of different angles.  Some demonstrators carried flags.  One group of three wore business suits and vampire fangs, painted their faces white, and carried large black umbrellas, pretending to be some of the World Bank’s leaders.  A woman dressed up as “Georgia Bush”, which basically was a woman wearing a dress, a red sash, and a rubber George W. Bush mask.  She also carried a suitcase saying “Georgia Corporate Whore”.


As you can see, street puppets were certainly in no short supply.  They were also very well done, if I do say so myself.  As you can see, street puppets were certainly in no short supply.  They were also very well done, if I do say so myself.

As you can see, street puppets were certainly in no short supply.  They were also very well done, if I do say so myself.

As you can see, street puppets were certainly in no short supply.  They were also very well done, if I do say so myself.  As you can see, street puppets were certainly in no short supply.  They were also very well done, if I do say so myself.


This particular street puppet, with a likeness of George W. Bush on one side, and a skull on the other, makes another appearance at a demonstration, having made a previous appearance at J20.  This particular street puppet, with a likeness of George W. Bush on one side, and a skull on the other, makes another appearance at a demonstration, having made a previous appearance at J20.

This particular street puppet, with a likeness of George W. Bush on one side, and a skull on the other, makes another appearance at a demonstration, having made a previous appearance at J20.


Jubilee USA's "Drop The Debt To Fight AIDS" banner makes another appearance at this rally, as it did at the fall 2004 World Bank meetings, covered in Part 4 of my Day of Activism Photography set, as well as a small picket on September 21, 2004.

Jubilee USA’s “Drop The Debt To Fight AIDS” banner makes another appearance at this rally, as it did at the fall 2004 World Bank meetings, covered in Part 4 of my Day of Activism Photography set, as well as a small picket on September 21, 2004.


A masked woman holds up a cardboard monkey wrench, one of a number of props made in advance by the organizers.  The theme of this demonstration was "A Better World Is Under Construction", and as a result, the props took the shape of various tools and construction equipment.  Creative!

A masked woman holds up a cardboard monkey wrench, one of a number of props made in advance by the organizers.  The theme of this demonstration was “A Better World Is Under Construction”, and as a result, the props took the shape of various tools and construction equipment.  Creative!


Next to the stage, more props in the shape of construction equipment could be found.

Next to the stage, more props in the shape of construction equipment could be found.


A triangular cardboard cutout simply reads "Empire".

A triangular cardboard cutout simply reads “Empire”.


A woman wears one of the cardboard cylinders with top hats.  This particular top hat says "Exxon" on it, while others said "Halliburton", "Nike", "Lockheed Martin", etc.  A woman wears one of the cardboard cylinders with top hats.  This particular top hat says "Exxon" on it, while others said "Halliburton", "Nike", "Lockheed Martin", etc.

A woman wears one of the cardboard cylinders with top hats.  This particular top hat says “Exxon” on it, while others said “Halliburton”, “Nike”, “Lockheed Martin”, etc.


These two participants held up signs saying "Don't drop the ball, drop the debt!" and "Medication for all nations..."

These two participants held up signs saying “Don’t drop the ball, drop the debt!” and “Medication for all nations…”


The woman in the picture above also wore a shirt saying "War is not healthy for children and other living things", a phrase which dates back to 1967 with the Another Mother for Peace organization.  As Paul Wolfowitz, former Deputy Secretary of Defense, had recently been appointed president of the World Bank, this gave good reason to also have a good anti-war presence here as well, as Wolfowitz was one of the primary architects of the Iraq war.

The woman in the picture above also wore a shirt saying “War is not healthy for children and other living things”, a phrase which dates back to 1967 with the Another Mother for Peace organization.  As Paul Wolfowitz, former Deputy Secretary of Defense, had recently been appointed president of the World Bank, this gave good reason to also have a good anti-war presence here as well, as Wolfowitz was one of the primary architects of the Iraq war.

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4

Part 1