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A16: The World Bank and IMF Demonstrations

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4

Part 2

The gentleman who, for J20, carried a giant sign dropping F-bombs on George W. Bush, changed his sign accordingly, now referring to the World Bank and the IMF.  The gentleman who, for J20, carried a giant sign dropping F-bombs on George W. Bush, changed his sign accordingly, now referring to the World Bank and the IMF.

The gentleman who, for J20, carried a giant sign dropping F-bombs on George W. Bush, changed his sign accordingly, now referring to the World Bank and the IMF.


This woman wears a rainbow-colored "Peace" flag, while wearing a hand-painted shirt that says, "Join the Revolution 2005 April 16".

This woman wears a rainbow-colored “Peace” flag, while wearing a hand-painted shirt that says, “Join the Revolution 2005 April 16”.


These people carried a banner regarding animal rights.  The woman at left also wears a shirt regarding the treatment of circus animals.

These people carried a banner regarding animal rights.  The woman at left also wears a shirt regarding the treatment of circus animals.


A masked demonstrator carries a flag with Che Guevara's likeness on it.

A masked demonstrator carries a flag with Che Guevara’s likeness on it.


A group of people hold up a large banner advocating the defeat of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).  More information at stopcafta.org.

A group of people hold up a large banner advocating the defeat of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).  More information at stopcafta.org.


People from the Boston Direct Action Project dressed up as vampires, with black suits, white faces, vampire fangs, and large black umbrellas, pretending to be World Bank PR representatives.

People from the Boston Direct Action Project dressed up as vampires, with black suits, white faces, vampire fangs, and large black umbrellas, pretending to be World Bank PR representatives.


This gentleman decorated a trash can, and was using it as a giant drum.

This gentleman decorated a trash can, and was using it as a giant drum.


And, as mentioned earlier, this is Georgia Bush, the "Georgia Corporate Whore", according to her suitcase, complete with dress, red sash, and rubber Bush mask.

And, as mentioned earlier, this is Georgia Bush, the “Georgia Corporate Whore”, according to her suitcase, complete with dress, red sash, and rubber Bush mask.


And then, amongst the crowds at the park, you know who I ran into?  Jess!  Yes, Jess, whom I originally met at the Million Worker March back in October.

I also introduced Jess to my sister, and we talked for a few minutes before parting company for now, basically catching up with each other since the Million Worker March.  We would meet up again twice more.


Nearly six months to the day we first met, Jess and I meet again.

Nearly six months to the day we first met, Jess and I meet again.


Sis agreed to take a photo of Jess and I with Big Mavica.  As you can see, the Black Bloc look is "in" at these events.

Sis agreed to take a photo of Jess and I with Big Mavica.  As you can see, the Black Bloc look is “in” at these events.


After Jess and I parted company, I did some more exploring and photographing.  Another black bloc demonstrator asked Sis and I if we were planning on engaging in any direct action, to which we replied no.  Turned out that no one was planning any direct action today.

This gentleman and I also talked a bit about how they had identified two people as undercover officers and to be mindful of that, because they had been seen behind police lines earlier in the day.  They were easiest identified by their Washington Nationals hats.  That led to a short discussion about how the Nationals appear to be trying to milk Washington for every penny they can get, what with public financing for the stadium, and not paying for extra Metro service if games run long.  This, boys and girls, is known as “corporate welfare”.  Now if you’ve paid attention to what I’ve been involved in lately, I follow transit issues in Washington closely.  I also have followed the politics of the Montreal Expos‘ move to Washington DC, which turned them into the Nationals.  My position on baseball in Washington has always been that I’m fully supportive of having baseball in Washington, but not if it means DC is selling its soul for Major League Baseball.  Best example is what I described – the Nationals’ not paying for extra Metro service, instead choosing to simply announce when Metro is about to close, leaving Metro to pick up the tab for extra service.  For those of you not familiar, when Metro needs to run extra service due to special events, such as for Redskins games, Metro bills the organization requiring extra service for the cost of the extra service, minus the amount collected in fares during that time.

UPDATE: Since this narrative was originally written, the DC Sports Commission, an independent agency of the Washington DC government, has stepped in to pay for any extra Metro service required if Nationals games run late.  According to my source, a spokesman for the sports commission “insists there will be a deal in which the Nationals agree to cover any costs.”  As long as the Nationals actually pay for the extra Metro service that their events require, I’m satisfied. Though that will evaporate if the Nationals don’t pony up the funds, since all that this does is move the cost of service from one governmental agency (Metro) to another (the DC Sports Commission).

Later, Sis and I briefly parted company at the rally so that she could use the restroom.  I wondered where she would go to find the restroom, since I’d explained it was kind of bad form to be seen leaving an anti-globalization rally to go to Starbucks.  When she came back, I found out where she went.  She was carrying a little brown bag that said “Starbucks Coffee” on it and eating some little thing she got there.  Of course, at my first big demonstration, I might have done the same thing, since I went into that one completely cold turkey.  I provided Sis with literature beforehand, but nothing compares as far as learning how these things work than to actually go to a demonstration.

Not long after Sis came back, we ran into Jess once more at the other end of the park, as she was getting her bicycle.  She was going to bike the march route, out in front.  At that time, the two of us spotted two things.  One, there was a police officer filming the park from the street with a camcorder.  That irked us both.  Of course, this is part of the reason why Jess and I were both wearing masks at this demonstration.  We also spotted a group of three people on the roof of the World Bank building in business suits watching us from above.


The group of people on the roof of the World Bank, watching the demonstration from above.

The group of people on the roof of the World Bank, watching the demonstration from above.


Jess poses with her bike.

Jess poses with her bike.


After Jess undid her bike, she went ahead and got going with her bike.  She and I quickly shared a brief hug, and she was off.  Meanwhile, Sis and I took a moment to see some of the speakers at the stage, and I filmed a few of the speeches.


David Rovics sings Operation Iraqi Liberation on the stage.  You can find lyrics and a studio recording of the song here.


Rev. Graylan Hagler speaks from the stage: “Moral values is what YOU represent, and WE represent!”


As you can see, the A16 rally was well attended, with lots of people listening to the speeches, and capturing them for posterity.

As you can see, the A16 rally was well attended, with lots of people listening to the speeches, and capturing them for posterity.

As you can see, the A16 rally was well attended, with lots of people listening to the speeches, and capturing them for posterity.


Later, as the march was getting ready to begin, a group of counter-protesters showed up.  This was not the Free Republic group (better known as Freepers) this time.  This time it was a group of pro-lifers, carrying signs advertising the American Life League.  These people were chased off by the police, as a confrontation was already going on between our demonstration and the counter-protesters.  I personally found it odd for them to be demonstrating about abortion at an event about globalization.  I know that last year, the weekend of the World Bank and IMF’s spring meetings was a double-punch for activists, with the World Bank demonstrations and the March for Women’s Lives in the same weekend, on back-to-back days.  This time around, though, globalization was the only issue for the weekend.


Counter-protesters at 18th and H Streets NW, in the northeast corner of the park, holding up pro-life signs.  As I said before, I found it odd that they chose a rally on globalization for their venue.

Counter-protesters at 18th and H Streets NW, in the northeast corner of the park, holding up pro-life signs.  As I said before, I found it odd that they chose a rally on globalization for their venue.


And then the march got underway.  The Rude Mechanical Orchestra started playing, and we were off!

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4

Part 2