The Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank were marked this year by the largest protests against them since
at least 2004, when thousands marched against them the day before a massive women's rights rally. This year, the G20 met in DC the day before the IMF met, inspiring protesters to use a three-headed dragon puppet as their mascot and theme.
On Friday, the 19th of April, protesters marched on the Mayflower Hotel, a notorious nest of IMF and World Bank delegates that has been stormed in past meetings. This time police expected that line of attack, and this first
of four attempts to enter the Mayflower failed. Protesters then marched on the checkpoints outside the IMF
itself and heckled delegates leaving the Meeting site.
Saturday, the 20th of April began with nearly 1,000 Ethiopians in front of the IMF protesting against IMF funding
of human rights abuses against their country. In nearby Farragut Square were over 1,000 labor and union activists
led by National Nurses United. Originally they were going to assemble across from the World Bank in Murrow Park, but police used the Boston bombings as an excuse to "ask" them not to. Unlike the Ethiopians, they agreed. The unions marched from Farragut to the US Treasury, blocking 15th st in a protest still timed to cooincide withe IMF meetings
as they too demanded an end to austerity, in this case inside the US. They demanded a "Robin Hood tax," a 1% tax on
all Wall Street finanical transactions to save funding for social programs.
What the Tea Party and their sequester are doing here, the IMF and World Bank are trying to do to Greece, Portugal,
Spain, and to countries all over the Global South, and people have had enough.
Local anarchists, Occupy activists, and pro-Earth activists broke away from 15th st and marched on the IMF meetings, using a "chariot" bearing the King of the Banks and pulled by activists dressed as slaves to charge the checkpoint gate. The chariot was made from a shopping cart, carried both the King and a local activist on hunger strike against API, and everyone pulling it was dressed in jail stripes and named for a country exploited by the IMF, the World Bank, and the G20. Behind them followed the three-headed dragon. Here's what things sounded like when the chariot charge set off a pushing match with the cops:
Then the police suddenly counterattacked with pushing and shoving, but with inconclusive results:
That fighting was inconclusive, and protesters spent the next hour heckling delegates on their way in or out of
That night, protesters set out again, and managed to storm the Capitol Hilton and the St Regis, both hotels housing IMF delegates. There was a spectacular video shot from inside the Hilton, with one of the dragons' heads poking under the doorway. Here's what things sounded like as protesters charged into the Hilton:
Three attempt to storm the Mayflower didn't work, again because that place has been hit too many times and
expected it. None the less, the final score was disruption three times at the Mayflower that night, plus the
Capitol Hilton and the St Regis stormed by protesters. The St Regis was a special case, as protesters had three
time had to clear the streets to allow fire trucks to pass. The third time around morphed into a charge from the sidewalk across 16th st to the St Regis, with another sucessful entry!
The following day, the 21st of April, the World Bank was meeting, and the three-headed dragon was back. This time,
activists smashed the dragon to pieces while explaining that the three heads are the IMF, the World Bank, and the G20. They said the same fate awaits these institutions themselves:
That's right: with the uprisings growing in places like Greece, and the bankers calling Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain "PIGS" for public resistance to their demands, the days of the neoliberal bankers are numbered!