[R-G] [Infoshop News] Anti-capitalists shut down Washington, DC; Over 600 arrested (fwd)
Tom_Childs at Douglas.BC.CA
Tom_Childs at Douglas.BC.CA
Fri Sep 27 14:21:12 MDT 2002
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Subject: [Infoshop News] Anti-capitalists shut down Washington, DC; Over 600 arrested
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Anti-capitalists shut down Washington, DC; Over 600 arrested
This story will be updated throughout the day
September 27 | 3:00 pm EDT
The residents of Washington, DC were treated to a small version of the
general strikes which shut down Argentina earlier this year. Thousands of
anti-capitalists and concerned citizens converged on Washington, DC this
morning in a successful effort to shut down the capital of Empire (the United
Protesters used a wide variety of tactics to shut down intersections and
streets, ranging from a Critical Mass bike ride, to flaming tires thrown onto
George Washington parkway, to nonviolent blockades of intersections. There
are reports that the snake march this morning prompted several folks to
destroy the windows of Citibank, an international capitalist bank complicit
in profiting from IMF policies.
The streets of Washington, DC were deserted at 8 am, with the streets looking
like they do on a Saturdya morning. Traffic on the Metro was light, despite
urging from the authorities for people to take public transpoartation. Most
of the downtown workers simply stayed home. I overheard one parking lot
attendent say to a co-worker that he was glad that "everybody stayed home
The weather was favorable to the protesters, being cool, foggy and no rain.
This break in the rain came in the middle of several days of rain. The fog
prevented police helicopters from tracking activist groups.
Currently, the legal collective and the news media are reporting over 600
arrests today. Police Chief Charles Ramsey was reported to have said that he
hoped to arrest 1000 people by noon and was planning to detain everybody
Most of the arrests that this reporter observed this morning were simply
illegal--it was clear that at a certain point, the police simply decided to
clear the streets.
I saw around 70 people get arrested at 12th and H Street, NW. The police
overdid it and shut down 12th street, a major trafifc artery, for 30 minutes
as the last wave of commuters trickled in.
About a half hour later, several of us doing media work got reports that
people had been surrounded at 'Pershing Park", which is the west end of
Freedom Plaze (12th and Pennsylvania). The police surrounded a large group of
people in the park, including people who were drumming and some folks who had
been doing Critical Mass. The police closed in and eventually arrested
everybody. I counted 9 buses full of people, around 350 people in all.
The police did use some violence against the people in the park, especially
against two guys who resisted arrest and were thrown into a police van (I'll
post the AP photo of this arrest).
The folks who were arrested in the park were supported by a vocal group of
activists across the street.
There were reports that many people in the snake march got arrested and 42
people were arrested from the Pagan Bloc.
Jail solidarity is being organized tonight and details will be discussed at
the ACC Convergence Center at 6 pm.
All in all, I'd say that the day was a success, thanks to creative thinking
by those who participated and the fact that everybody was well prepared. The
police will say that they kept the streets free, but the fact is that
anti-capitalists successfully shut down Washington, DC today.
That's the least that we can do for the Argentinians and billions of others
affected by the World Bank and IMF.
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"...ironically, perhaps, the best organised dissenters in
the world today are anarchists, who are busily
undermining capitalism while the rest of the left is
still trying to form committees."
-- Jeremy Hardy, The Guardian (UK)
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