Washington braced for protests

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 14:38:05 +0100

MessageWashington braced for protests


Police have barricaded streets and are guarding buildings around Washington DC 
where a series of protests are planned for the start of a meeting of the 
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. 
There will be demonstrations against current monetary policies as world 
financial leaders meet in the US capital, but larger gatherings are also 
expected to focus on other issues. 

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators want to organise a mass rally against Israel's 
military action on the West Bank, to rival a demonstration in favour of Israel 
last week. 

Thousands of people are also predicted to condemn the scope of the US-led war 
on terror, but organisers have promised protests will be peaceful. 

Since violence erupted on the streets of Seattle during the hosting of a World 
Trade Organisation meeting in November 1999, law enforcement agencies have 
concentrated on how to keep protests under control. 

Washington DC managed to keep demonstrations peaceful and good-natured during 
the spring meeting two years ago of the World Bank and the International 
Monetary Fund and aims to do the same again. 

      Palestinian supporters want a rally to rival the pro-Israel demonstration
The city's police have set up metal barricades around the offices of the IMF 
and the World Bank. 

Officers armed with batons have been standing guard on street corners in the 
business area, just a few blocks from the White House. 

Finance chiefs will be involved in a series of meetings, from the Group of 
Seven leading industrial nations to the policy-making committees of the IMF and 
World Bank. 

The G7 will discuss Japan's continuing economic problems and the crisis in 
Argentina is expected to dominate other agendas. 

But protesters are expanding their remit far beyond money matters, with only a 
few hundred expected to picket the IMF/World Bank meetings. 

Anti-army ride 

Organisers are hoping to stage a huge march and rally in support of the 
Palestinians on Saturday, as a reply to a pro-Israeli demonstration last week 
which attracted up to 100,000 people. 

Late on Friday, police made their first arrests during a mass bicycle ride. 

Forty cyclists ignored red lights and rode the wrong way down a one-way street, 
police said. 

They were demonstrating against a US Army facility they say produced despotic 
Latin American leaders. 

Otherwise, authorities say they have encountered few problems so far. 

Police Chief Charles Ramsay said: "It's just unfortunate these things can't be 
100% of a lawful nature." 

Source: BBC online


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