Outside the convention center, while labor leaders spoke and peacenik punks played to a impromptu mosh pit, Mike Dolan, deputy director for Global Trade Watch, offered some bolder economic proposals: that the IMF and World Bank should incorporate global warming into the equation, begin microfinancing small companies rather than huge corporations, and finance biomass methane production at the village level.
The week of protests in D.C., activists hope, will force the IMF and World Bank to address such alternatives. Actions will include Jubilee 2000's Debt Cancellation Rally, part of a global movement to convince the seven wealthiest nations to cancel debts owed them by the poorest; a call to boycott World Bank Bonds; and the initiation of a "Roast Starbucks" campaign designed to convince the company to buy coffee that is shade-grown and thus less harmful to forests and to improve working conditions for small farmers; and much more, which will culminate in a massive rally and nonviolent direct action at IMF headquarters on Sunday and Monday, April 16 and 17. In D.C. as in Seattle there will be puppets, street theater, and a carnival atmosphere alongside nonviolence training and global forums. (See Donna Laddstory for online information.)
photo: Michael Sofronski
Spank the bank: a protester shakes up the suburbs.
Activists are intent on recruiting a flood of new protesters to D.C. from up and down the East Coast. A 20-city road show is migrating from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Montreal, rallying and educating the curious and the committed. "I'm the aftermath of Seattle," says Chris Whalen, 24, a former construction worker turned graphic artist and a local organizer of the New Jersey protest with Bergen Action Network. "I don't regret not going to Seattle, but I would regret not participating now."
For information about transportation to D.C. from NYC, contact Direct Action Network at 212-358-3966 or visit www.a16.org.