Ivo Skoric on Tue, 18 Apr 2000 17:45:18 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> (Fwd) Direct Action >> World Bank Protesters Dump Manure

America is again becoming an interesting country. Stock market 
plunges. Gas prices soar. Protesters clash with police in the 
capital. The ecclectic "post-protest" approach adopted by the 
'organizers' allowed participants to design their very own form of 
protest. This ranged from a visit to the museum to unloading tons 
of dung. Seattle was the beginning of a very exciting new trend in 
the U.S.: grassroots awareness of the nature of global power of the 
U.S. based international institutions.


------- Forwarded Messages Follow -------

Unfortunately, most of the people attending the rallies around DC
in the past week had little if no idea why they were there.  In
the words of one steelworker who went to the earlier protests,
"Our union was offering really cheap tickets and accommodations in
DC so how could I pass up so cheap a deal for bringing my family
to our nation's capital?"  I met this guy, his wife and two of his
charming children at the National Cemetary subway stop.

Or the words of one of the students [who i know] here to protest.
"We hired a bus which was really cool.  I think our generation
missed out on being activists so this looked good but no one
really understands what is going on so I went to  the [National
Art] Gallery."  Asked where she was headed [she was taking the
same subway I use to go home", the answer was "the parents, of


Friday April 14 2:42 PM ET

 World Bank Protesters Dump Manure

                 By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Demonstrators dumped four tons of manure on
Pennsylvania Avenue today and police on motorcycles and bicycles
massed outside the White House as Washington awaited protests
against policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary

A block from the White House, several dozen protesters
demonstrated against the Pentagon's missile defense program. They
chanted, passed out leaflets and carried signs.

Farther down the avenue, the pile of manure remained for more than
an hour before workers loaded it onto a truck and drove it away -
with a police escort.

Driving a rented dump truck festooned with signs ``World Bank:
Meat Stinks,'' a man dressed in a cow costume dumped the manure in
front of the World Bank.

The truck pulled over to the shoulder of the avenue, which remains
open to traffic, and dumped the load just outside security
barricades surrounding the bank.

Police quickly removed the signs from the truck and arrested the
driver and his passenger.

The event drew a crowd of passers-by, the smell notwithstanding.

The demonstration was staged by People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals, in protest against animal research in developing

Several blocks away, protesters far outnumbered by police held a
``Keep Space for Peace'' demonstration against spending for the
so-called ``Star Wars'' program.

Police all week have been waging a battle of wits with the
protesters, who promise to disrupt meetings of world finance
ministers Sunday and Monday.

Symbols of the psychological battle were laid out on a Washington
street corner Thursday when Police Chief Charles Ramsey plunked
down on the sidewalk metal and plastic tubes, chains and chicken

Some 300 tubes and other equipment were seized from two protester
vehicles Wednesday night after they were driven from the Maryland
suburbs to the District of Columbia. Ramsey readily admitted that
his officers knew from intelligence operations that the devices
were coming.

>From the protester side, the tubes - dubbed ``lock boxes'' or
``sleeping dragons'' - represent a new way to keep police from
easily breaking human chain blockades.

Used in protests last December against the World Trade
Organization in Seattle, one demonstrator inserts an arm on each
side and uses a clip to keep the hand inside. The tube is then
wrapped in chicken wire, covered with tar and overlaid with duct
tape. The tape is designed to hide the material underneath, which
in turn is designed to foil any attempt to saw through the tube.

Protest organizers were happy to show reporters the plain tubes,
but wouldn't describe the covering material. Ramsey and his top
deputies were only too happy to describe the finished device,
which the chief said was ``very effective.'' But Ramsey had yet
another surprise.

The department has formed a special unit that includes officers
who are volunteer firefighters. The unit will use equipment that
extricates victims from car wrecks, but police wouldn't be more

Just yards away from Ramsey, Han Shan, of the Mobilization for
Global Justice, pledged the protests would be nonviolent. He
launched into the demonstrators' now-familiar complaints against
the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the targets of
this week's protests.

Police faced another disruption today.

Protesters contend the lending institutions impose harsh repayment
penalties on poor countries, prevent spending on social programs,
back projects that destroy the environment and allow unfair labor

The National Lawyers Guild, a legal group voluntarily helping the
protesters, complained to Attorney General Janet Reno about the
arrests of seven people in the two vehicles carrying the

The area around the World Bank ``resembles an occupied city,'' the
group wrote Reno about the heavy police presence in the area.  

The police also have been purposely vague about their planned
tactics this weekend.

Ramsey wouldn't say whether demonstrators who blockaded streets
would be arrested automatically or allowed to remain in place -
especially on Sunday, when downtown Washington traffic is light.

``We could make thousands (of arrests) but I hope we don't have to
make any,'' he said.

He warned protesters that ``a lot of these devices are more
dangerous to the individuals than the police.''

Police have let it be known that they have spent some $1 million
for new helmets, shin guards, gloves and other riot gear and
planned to wear their bulletproof vests.

Executive Assistant Chief Terry Gainer said the chances of police
using tear gas was ``slim and remote,'' but then noted medical aid
stations would be set up to have it flushed from anyone's eyes.

``Effective crowd control is more about psychology than brute
force,'' says Robert W.  Klotz, a consultant on police crowd
control and a former deputy police chief in Washington.

``There's no one-size-fits-all method for crowd control.'' Writing
for The Washington Post last Sunday, Klotz' theory was that police
must react to patterns of behavior. Most demonstrators ``want a
simple show of numbers'' to support their point of view, he said.
Others want to engage in civil disobedience and be arrested.

And some want to do violence and cause injuries, he said, with
each situation requiring its own response.

The decision by The George Washington University, which is near
World Bank headquarters, to close from tonight through Tuesday has
given students the chance to stage their own protest.



There are no unconquerable fortresses. There are only bad conquerors.

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