Corporate Greed Infects Downtown Washington
Globalization's Discontents Announce Plans to Protest Final Meeting of IMF and World Bank, Sept 26-29
For Immediate Release
Contacts: Steve Kretzmann 202/497-1033
Madeline Gardner 202/276-4207
David Levy 202/288-2283
WASHINGTON -- Advocates for global justice today announced their plans to quarantine finance ministers and corporate executives gathering in Washington at the end of September. Critics remedies will include demonstrations, teach-ins, vigils, and debates before and during the annual meetings of the Boards of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Thousands of people are expected to converge on Washington to quarantine delegates to the IMF/World Bank annual meetings.
Activists will be convening teach-ins, debates, and vigils in the days leading up to the meetings. Quarantines will be set up to prevent the delegates from infecting the rest of society with their harmful economic policies until they have agreed to protestors demands to cancel Third World debt, open IMF/World Bank meetings to public scrutiny, end user fees on basic needs such as education and health care, and end World Bank support of deforestation, oil, gas, mining, and dams.
Participants noted how protestors critiques had become mainstream since thousands gathered in Washington to protest the IMF and the World Bank in April 2000. Several leading economists have in recent weeks voiced their strongest critiques yet of the policies promoted by these institutions, noted Robert Weissman of the activist group Essential Action. Since August 1, economist Jeffrey Sachs has called for indebted countries to repudiate the claims made by their creditors; New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has announced his disillusionment with the orthodox models he has supported for years; and Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz has concluded that the IMF most likely cannot be saved, and will have to be replaced.
Yet the policies of these institutions and their corporate backers remain largely unchanged, drawing protest around the world. At the press conference where the announcement was made, Njoki Njehu, director of the 50 Years Is Enough Network, reported on the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, from which she had returned the day before. Tens of thousands of people in Africa are marching in rejection of their governments domination by corporate interests, and to demand that human rights and needs, rather than corporate profits, become the priority of the world s governments. Marie Clarke, director of the Jubilee USA Network, explained, People around the world are increasingly refusing to take orders from the IMF and World Bank. We demand a world in which all children can go to school, each person has access to health care, clean drinking water, and sanitation, and everyone can democratically participate in shaping their economic, political, and social destiny.
Related Protest Action Today, Tuesday, September 3, at 5pm in park directly across from the World Bank 18th and H Streets in solidarity with tens of thousands currently protesting against the pro-corporate policies of the IMF and World Bank at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa (beautiful props, stunning visuals).
- 194 World Financial Institutions