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Day 2 Summary: Thousands Rally Against IMF and World Bank

Thousands protested the IMF and World Bank Saturday with a large rally and attempts to "quarantine" IMF delegates.
Over 5,000 protesters converged in Washington, DC, on September 28 to protest the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Moneray Fund. Demonstrators decried the detrimental effects of neoliberal economic policies and calling for global justice and democracy.

Saturday’s actions began with a rally on the lawn surrounding the Washington Monument. At noon some 400 people marched from the U.S. Treasury to the monument, calling for the cancellation of international debt and increased funding for AIDS prevention and care.

The rally, coordinated by Mobilization for Global Justice, featured many speakers and performers including consumer advocate Ralph Nader, Oscar Olivera of the Coalition in Defense of Water and Life in Bolivia, and musician Michelle Shocked.

Following the rally, demonstrators marched through the city to Farragut Square near the site of the IMF and World Bank. The previous evening police extended an exclusion zone around the financial institutions, for the most part keeping protesters blocks away from meeting delegates. After a rally at Farragut Square, the protesters continued on to Murrow Park and up to nearby police barricades fronting the IMF and World Bank buildings. The demonstrators – many wearing biohazard suits -- stated their goal of “quarantining” the IMF/World Bank and preventing delegates from leaving their meetings.

As the day ended, protesters were confined by police at several intersections. Eleven protesters were arrested as they attempted to leave the area controlled by police. As the demonstrations drew to a close about 7:30pm, a group of forty activists bound together with duct tape lay in the streets near a barricade on Pennsylvania Street in an attempt to block delegates, most of whom were transported out in chartered buses under police escort.

In contrast to Friday’s actions, those on Saturday were permitted and there were few arrests. However, a number of protesters remain in jail since yesterday. Jail solidarity actions are continuing. As was the case Friday, the police presence remained overwhelming, utilizing members of several local and regional forces.

Sunday is the main day of the IMF meetings. Among the actions planned for tomorrow are a series of “People’s Assembly” gatherings in Farragut Square and a protest against Bush’s impending war on Iraq.



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