Both arrested activists were released from jail today. The activist arrested Saturday evening was released on his own recognizance and has a court date scheduled in the middle of May.
The man arrested at the IMF Soccer riot was released at 3:30pm and HAD HIS CHARGES DROPPED!!!
Just some very basic info: (even for this length, there were a lot more newsworthy items of interest)
IMF Soccer Riot targeted the Fairmont Hotel with activists showing up around 3 AM and converging at the 24th and M Street location at about 3:30 AM.
Activists blocked off both ends of the block on 24th Street in front of the hotel and played soccer in the streets for more than 10 minutes before police finally arrived and then at first did little to stop anything. There were also a large number of air horns and chants and some very angry and aggressive security at the Fairmont. People woke up and looked outside their windows. It was extremely loud.
Based on a list obtained from police themselves, we knew they were at the Fairmont; we had further confirmed that by the action the night before where delegates had actually been seen.
All the ins and outs and ups and downs with police will have to wait for a full report; so much happened on that account. I know of only one arrest for an activist who was holding a broom, and the police arrested him for not wanting to give up that broom.
Police were very aggressive and did a lot of illegal things, everything from shoving activists and throwing them to the ground without provocation to simple things like refusing to give badge numbers repeatedly to forcing activists standing around doing nothing to move at random for no reason. It is not lawful for the police to force people to obey orders when they themselves are not doing anything unlawful. Police went at times from threatening to sedate to aggressive to disciplined to out-of-control. At points, hundreds of police converged.
But, this is not about the police; this is about the delegates, whom we were able to disturb and in some cases disrupt in multiple ways.
The action outside the Fairmont continued nonstop with energy until after 7AM. This gave activists a chance to confront very tired delegates directly entering their vans. (Again, I’ve left out an awful lot of great action).
Another very small group broke off after most had dispersed and went to the Washington Marriott. There they stopped a delegate van from leaving for over 10 minutes as they screamed at delegates who were clearly disturbed by their inability to get to the meetings. The bus was wedged in to a parking spot sticking into the road.
After facing near arrest there, those activists left for another hotel to find another small group facing police harrassment being followed by motorcycle police who were within inches of them trying to force them along a sidewalk. The original set of activists at the Marriott returned to the Marriott and confronted other car and bus loads of activists, often getting right into the door and screaming at the delegates who were feet and if outside inches away. Some other people at the Marriott got very upset with the activists but were ignored. Security called in police and again several dozen police on motorcycles surrounded these activists and forced them from positions on the public sidewalk. Along the road, another had offered activists 3 warnings for something that was inaudible. The activists left safely; however, and within a block, the police left them all to themselves.
So, they went to the Lombardy, another scene of action from last night, and screamed some more at the hotel before heading toward the new IMF building at 19th and Pennsylvania. There, hundreds of delegates waited in line to go through security. This group descended on their line and were standing right next to them and yelled things like, “Murderers not welcome here!” Police quickly acted to move the delegates inside their barriers, rushing about half of them to another security checkpoint. Police (here MPD and Secret Service) did nothing to stop the activists who continued screaming at hundreds of IMF delegates for the next 20-30 minutes, mere feet away.
The actions, in the end, proved more disruptive than Adopt-an-Intersection in September with a similar number of people as those direct actions. This group of people was much better trained in affinity group behavior and were very committed to the goal of disruption of some of the delegates to inspire empowerment and to encourage the need for much better planning so that this kind of direct action can be more effective on a larger scale in the future.
This is only the shadow of a report. I hope others can come from this and all the actions. There was a lot more to the street march and confrontation of hotels where delegates stayed.
Again, there was one arrest, and hopefully people can share any jail support that can be done.
Actions against the World Bank and IMF as well as the military industrial complex and economic system that glues it all together will be ongoing in Washington, DC this week and next week and beyond.
We’ll be back.
ctivists took to the streets and into the lobbies of hotels housing World Bank delegates, in one case storming into the lobby of the St. Gregory Hotel. Activists directly confronted delegates at a party at the Fairmont Hotel.
We know of one arrest.
Police were aggressive, most especially a motorcycle police officer named Ferris, who was calling female participants “Baby” and blowing kisses at one of them and a bicycle police officer named Loy, #1761, who was pushing and shoving protesters. In many cases, police bicycles intentionally rammed into activists, who nevertheless kept marching.
The day followed a day of trainings; much of the discipline in the street could be attributed to good training sessions and making sure that people understood and for the most part worked in affinity group formations as part of a cluster. The person arrested did not seem to be part of an affinity group.
The rain was driving, but protesters did not seem to care. Traffic was snarled on the streets for more than 90 minutes.
(full schedule of events at: https://breakthebank.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/final-schedule-of-events/ )
Download video at http://images.indymedia.org/imc/washingtondc/media/video/8/wolfowitza21.mov
A significant and spirited group of protesters converged on World Bank President and Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz’s home yet again at 7104 Pinehurst Parkway in Chevy Chase after 9PM on Friday night. Some came by bike, some by car for a spirited and raucous protest that ultimately spilled into Western Avenue after leaving the house. Police tailing the group blocked many cars from getting through.
There were no arrests, and except for a few isolated incidents, no trouble from police. Unlike recent encounters, there were no private security, a sign that Wolfowitz was not home (though his car was in the driveway). In fact, for the first time in several encounters, his immediate neighbors seemed to be gone as well. This suggests that the neighbors are getting keyed in on the protests and are being affected by them. This is one of the aims of these protests. A mass murderer lives at 7104 Pinehurst Parkway, and it’s our responsibility to do something about it, to confront any member of our community who is committing such crimes. In Paul’s case, many thousands are dead, many thousands are displaced due to policies he’s directly responsible for both when he was Deputy Secretary of Defense and now in his position as World Bank President. Many have no homes due to World Bank policies, due to Paul Wolfowitz; it’s not illegitimate to stand in solidarity with these people at his home as we call on this murderer to resign.
For the first time in any of these protests, DC police were there as well, joining Montgomery County Police.
In and of itself, this protest was not much, but that’s deceptive. When we organized this, we thought he would be at a hotel, but we knew it was important to go there anyhow. As part of a campaign that has already lead the neighbors to share rumors about Wolfowitz’s supposed desire to move from the location, it is significant. Neighbors are reacting. Some in the past bring their children out to watch. Others get upset. All of them are beginning to realize that the protests are not going away. It’s possible, even likely, that many will blame the protesters, but all must consider the issue of whether we are are brother’s keeper, that is whether we are responsibile as a community for the crimes of our own neighbors and whether we should do something to stop them. That is one reason we chant, “World Bank shut it down! Paul Wolfowitz out of our town!”
In a day of action that included office demos that startled workers in their workplaces and for a moment could not be invisible, a direct confrontation with G7 delegates, the Wolfowitz action capped off a productive day. People in the protests felt empowered, and that’s the most important thing of all. That empowerment will only energize more actions.
Some may think the action was meaningless because he wasn’t home, but these demonstrations this week are merely part of an ongoing campaign, a tactical and strategic shift, away from the mass mobilization and toward sustained direct action that personalizes the crimes of systemic institutions. People commit these crimes; the World Bank is people.
We are all responsible, and we must all be touched by it.
Tomorrow, the actions continue. For a full schedul, see https://breakthebank.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/final-schedule-of-events/
Following MGJ's media stunt in front of the IMF, protesters followed through on their promise to go after offices related to capitalist institutions working hand-in-hand with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
These protests are ongoing this afternoon, but we can report from the first two at Halliburton and Bechtel.
A lot of people know about the loans that the World Bank hands out to nations; what a lot of people don't realize is that there's an arm of the World Bank known as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that gives money out directly to private corporations. If you search the IFC website, you will have trouble finding projects directly tied to Halliburton, and yet an IPS study has shown that Halliburton is a huge beneficiary of IFC money through roles as contractor, developer, or investor, especially – as should be obvious – in the oil industry.
So, we went to Halliburton with flyers intending on educating the public and Halliburton's own employees. More than that, we went to confront Halliburton directly. Protesters entered Halliburton's offices on 18th Street between L and M and began shouting chants. Halliburton employees looked very disturbed inside their 2nd floor offices as the sound reverberated throughout the building. Flyers about the connections were scattered throughout.
Outside, security immediately tried to lock the doors. One protester ready for that possibility kept the door open. When security tried to close the door, that protester held ground and refused to let him lock the protesters in. Another came to this person's aid. When the protest was ending, another protester seeing the situation at the door tried to run out. The security guard stuck his leg out successfully tripping the protester who fell out of the building hard onto the sidewalk. An onlooker who was shouting support for the protesters chastised the security guard for his violence. While the guard continued to try to keep people in the building, all protesters safely were able to leave. The onlooker approved and told us that we needed to come back very soon.
We will be back.
Successful, the protesters went on to Bechtel at 15th and K Street, across from McPherson Square. Bechtel is much more overt about its IFC money than is Halliburton. Ask the people of Bolivia about Bechtel's involvement in that country. A lot of people simply think of Halliburton and Bechtel as war profiteers, but the fact is they are simply profiteers who work with governments to produce profits for the rich in first world countries, sometimes helping to enrich corrupt puppet rulers in the Global South.
At Bechtel, proesters took elevators up to the 7th floor without difficulty. The people inside Bechtel's offices were stunned to see protesters outside their offices. Protesters littered their floor with flyers explaining the corporate abuses of their corporate employers.
Protesters left the building without facing difficulty.
As mentioned, these protests are ongoing.
In conjunction with MGJ's action citing the World Bank and IMF for health violations, and yesterday's disruption of Wolfowitz's press conference, they begin a weekend of direct action that will continue to grow in intensity. Protesters tonight, rain or shine, will be taking part in a critical mass at 6PM from Murrow Park across the street from the World Bank and then at 8PM will be departing for 7104 Pinehurst Parkway in Chevy Chase on the DC border at Western Avenue for a protest outside of Wolfowitz's home. Previous protests have led to reports that Wolfowitz was trying to sell his home BECAUSE of the protests. No one knows whether this is true, but regardless, the demand is for Paul Wolfowitz to resign immediately. We don't care where he lives so long as he stops displacing and killing thousands across the Global South.
For more, see http://worldbank.activeresistance.org . See the full schedule of events of the protests against the spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF at https://breakthebank.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/final-schedule-of-events/ .
Mass housing and convergence space will reopen again at 4pm on Friday at St. Stephen’s Church (16th and Newton NW). It will be closed all day so everyone can attend the afternoon protest events. See you at 4pm.
An Anti-IMF/WB critical mass is being called for Friday at 6pm at Murrow Park (18th and H St. NW, across from the WB building). This is not a Farragut Squares organized event and we are NOT in a position to assist with legal support, but we do encourage people to attend. Please be mindful, however, if you are interested in going to Paul Wolfowitz’s house, we will be leaving from the Convergence Space at 8pm.
Its T minus 6 days to the World Bank and IMF Spring meetings and the Farragut Squares Collective has been busy little elves finalizing a schedule of counter Bank and Fund events. What follows is the fruits of our labor. We hope to see y’all in the streets, in the driveways and at the parties of the men and women who turn Earth into fields of profit, instead of fields of green. Come to one event, or come to all. Be there, and be Farragut Square.
5pm: Mass Housing opens at St. Stephen’s Church at 16th and Newton
12PM: MGJ media stunt at IMF
1pm: Office Demos at WB/IMF/IFC affiliates – leave from the Park at 20th and
Pennsylvania Ave. NW, near the IMF
7pm: General Open Scenario Meeting at St. Stephen’s Church
7pm: Dinner served at St. Stephen’s
8pm: Leave from St. Stephen’s for Home Demo at Paul Wolfowitz’s house in Chevy
8:30-9:30AM: Breakfast at St. Stephen’s
9:30-10:30: DC issues Teach-in (all trainings at St. Stephen’s)
10:30-12:30: Medic training (safety in the streets)
1-2pm: Legal training (know your rights in DC)
2-Dinner: Affinity Group training, formation and SPOKESCOUNCIL
7:30PM: Meet at Farragut Square for Night March and actions to capitalist points of
Time/PLace TBA: IMF Soccer Riot…bring your old spare balls
To get to St. Stephen’s Church via metro take the green line to Columbia Heights Metro Stop and walk North along 14th St until Newton St. Walk West on Newton 2 blocks until you hit 16th St. St. Stephen’s is at the corner of 16th and Newton St. NW in Columbia Heights.
We are not mass mobilizing for this year’s World Bank / IMF meetings. What?! You will not find a rally with speeches you will not listen to and a march from one park to another past an assortment of empty buildings. BUT, YOU WILL FIND LOTS OF ACTION! Don’t come to Washington, DC, April 21 – 23 if all you intend to do is march. However, if you want to take effective action, march and do a whole lot more!
Updates, housing information, ride boards, other logistics information available at http://worldbank.activeresistance.org or by signing up to the listserve at http://lists.activeresistance.org/mailman/listinfo/dc .
World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, April 21-23, 2006
Schedule of Resistance:
Friday, April 21st- Evening Spokes Council – Gather with other individuals and affinity groups to strategize and plan actions for the weekend. Time to be announced. Place: The convergence center at St. Stephens Church, 16th and Newton Streets NW (S2 and S4 bus; Columbia Heights Metro)
Saturday, April 22nd- We are organizing a day of trainings (at the convergence center) to be followed by an evening of action. While the goons of capitalist exploitation plot their schemes behind closed doors, we will prepare ourselves for effective and safe resistance. From legal trainings to guerrilla street theater, affinity group training to an orientation on DC community struggles, we will gather our tools and CONFRONT THE DELEGATES AND THEIR CORPORATE FRIENDS ON SATURDAY FOLLOWING THE TRAININGS. If they want to eat, drink, and be merry on the backs of billions worldwide, they will do so in the face of our resistance.
Sunday, April 23rd- Day of direct action. Keep the pressure on the individuals who power the machine of global exploitation. Let them know they cannot continue their war on the poor!
Brought to you by the Farragut Squares. firstname.lastname@example.org .