Dousing IMF Protestations

Last night heralded the first skirmishes of the annual IMF/World Bank protests with DC’s first rain in months. And I think that was God sending a signal to the unwashed protesters: its time to get a life.

How many years have there been protests? And what’s been the impact? From what I can tell, not much besides screaming sirens and traffic snarls. These are children of global wealth, and unlike the hardcore WTO protesters, not about to die for their cause.

Smash a few shop windows, or pelt a passerby with a brick, yeah, but effect real change? Nope. Just another bunch of ineffectual protesters.

To them I gladly send the DC MPD Bicycle Corps:

12 Comments so far

  1. Scott (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

    Are you really coming out against the First Amendment and for the World Bank and the IMF? I guess it’s good to know your position.

  2. wayan (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 1:28 pm

    Me, against the First Amendment right to protest? You do not know with whom you speak. I am all about organized, nonviolent protesting that effects change.

    But so far, the protest punks at IMF/World Bank meetings are more hoodlums than harbingers of change, and as such, are not welcome in Washington DC. In fact, I think the police officer quoted in the Washington Post said it the best:

    "People are allowed to peaceably assemble. That’s part of living in America," Burke said. "In the event they plan to get violent or do damage to property, we are well prepared to deal with that scenario."

  3. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

    There’s exercising your first amendment rights, and then there’s hiding behind a claim of rights to do jackassery. Apparently, someone in Georgetown was hit in the head by a brick by one of the asshats who decided that this was their best method of protest. From the WTOP story:

    As demonstrators approached the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, they started throwing bricks at shops and businesses.

    One young woman was hurt while walking with a group of friends Friday night. She was struck in the forehead and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

  4. Donny (unregistered) on October 20th, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

    Run into any issues when taking a photo of the police officers here? Seems that they’re cool with it (as they should be).

  5. barbara (unregistered) on October 21st, 2007 @ 9:04 am

    I know (from a first-hand report from someone who was there) that it was NOT "Protestors" who started hurling bricks. It was ONE guy, who felt terrible afterward that he hit a person. I am NOT defending vandalism and violent behavior. But the main reason protests these days are ineffectual is that they get no real media coverage. I’ve been searching the entire web for any information whatsovever on the demonstrations, and this, and a single MSNBC story on the brick, are it. Total. How can you effect change if, unless you’re violent, you’re ignored?

  6. Stacey (unregistered) on October 21st, 2007 @ 10:18 am

    So somehow a lack of media attention means there is some – even if little – justification for the brick instance? That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!

    It’s a market just like the "real" market. If media isn’t interested, then they aren’t interested – the protesters should do something that gets attention which is WITHIN the law. Media isn’t required to pay attention to anything – and just because they don’t doesn’t mean we can give any justification for, well, anything. They are media – not lawmakers responsible to their electorate.

  7. wayan (unregistered) on October 21st, 2007 @ 1:15 pm

    Maybe the lack of media attention tells you something. Like the public (the media’s customers) aren’t interesting in protesting the IMF/World Bank/WTO. Maybe that is so 1999.

    In there here and now, with the majority of USA goods made overseas, it might be time to accept we live in a global economy.

    In fact, the last time I checked the developing world, like Kenya in July, everyone there was cool with the idea of globalism. It brought cell phones to villages and allows small-lot farmers to export fresh foods to the EU.

    If anything, its was the US Dept of Agriculture’s protectionist policies that you should be protesting. Seems they’re the ones bankrupting the developing world food producers, not the IMF or World Bank.

  8. wayan (unregistered) on October 21st, 2007 @ 1:18 pm


    Thanks for asking about photographing DC police officers. This set were happy to pose for the camera. The picture doesn’t do him justice, but the second cop in was even throwing down a pose.

    As I walked away, I overheard another passerby as to take their own photo of the police bicycle team.

  9. wayan (unregistered) on October 21st, 2007 @ 1:19 pm


    Do you know if the guy who threw the brick felt terrible enough to turn himself in, and while doing so declare he wasn’t a protester, so as to remove the taint of that accusation from the others?

  10. KCinDC (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 12:02 am

    To be fair, Wayan, a guy who is astonished at the idea that throwing bricks might actually hurt someone presumably lacks the brain power required to turn himself in and dissociate himself from the protesters.

  11. Don (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 10:01 am

    Bemoaning the lack of media attention as a reason for ineffective protests is malarkey. The reality is that most things don’t get a lot of media attention. Last year I wrote about a hostage situation where a street in my darling girlfriend’s neighborhood was closed off for four hours. A dozen cops and SWAT were there with assault rifles and the situation eventually ended with the suspect getting shot. Press coverage? Minimal.

    Personally I have almost no interest in the IMF protests because I think that 99% of the people out there protesting don’t have the slightest understanding of the situation or an alternative situation they’re suggesting. They seem to primarily be people who have decided that since the IMF has money they’re bad.

    Whether I think the Invisible Children folks have an understanding of the situation or not, at least they’re out there engaging in activities designed to raise awareness and with a communication plan. These IMF folks instead have decided they want to go into Georgetown and harass people who they think are the bad guys.

    The World Bank Works, Meets, and Sleeps in Georgetown!

    The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector wing of the World Bank Group, has ‘clients’ located within Georgetown proper. The IFC serves to provide loans to corporations for the purposes of setting up shop in developing countries. Many recipients of IFC loans reside in Georgetown.

    Georgetown will also play host to thousands of delegates sleeping in their hotels and partying in exclusive nightclubs with guest lists that don’t allow the general public in.

    Join us, Friday October 19, at 9pm in Washington Circle as we march on Georgetown and bring our demands to a place where they can’t be ignored; to their exclusive bars, to their decadent restaurants, to their lavish yachts, and to their silk-lined bedsheets.

    This will be a rowdy march, and the coalition embraces a diversity of tactics. Please plan accordingly.

  12. PSolus (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

    Where can I get get me some of them "silk-lined bedsheets"?

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