G20 Summit Brings Two Things To DC: Protesters and Chaos
Throughout DC, hundreds of protesters gather in front of the meeting places of the G20 Summit. Authorities have advised tourists as well as DC residents to steer clear of the National Building Museum, where the emergency summit is being held and six blocks have been shut down.
DC Authorities have a lot on their hands as this summit takes place. Delegations from 20 nations, the European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank, and of course the President all require security personnel and motorcades. This is to be provided by the Secret Service and State Department’s Diplomatic Security Bureau. Set aside six blocks being shut down near the Verizon Center, including the Metro at Judiciary Square, sporadically throughout the day and into the evening District residents should expect sirens, traffic jams, groups of protesters, and 16,000 “Highway to Hell” fans figuring out how to get to see AC/DC. Oh, the irony of so many people jamming out to such a tune in light of the subject of discussion for the G20. Just in case anyone was wondering, AC/DC is sold out.
The chaos doesn’t end with the task presented to DC Authorities. Hundreds assemble in front of the various meeting places of the Summit to let their voices be heard on several issues. A large contingent of Tibetan Independence supporters (200) and a smaller group from the spiritual movement Falun Gong are protesting China outside the financial meetings. A couple ANSWER coalition protesters were spotted as well. At Murrow Park and Thomas circle, anti-capitalism picketers have placed signs and marched with phrases like “Bury Capitalism” and “People Over Profit.” I wonder if these people know that the G20 represents 80% of world trade and without capitalism, any progress in the financial crisis would be impossible.
All this chaos is nothing out of the ordinary, but be warned: DC authorities haven’t had to deal with such a large scale task since the 1999 50th Anniversary of NATO.