- The Washington Times - Friday, December 1, 2000

About 50 protesters gathered yesterday afternoon to demonstrate in front of the International Monetary Fund headquarters downtown on the anniversary of the failed Seattle trade talks.
The international lender was holding a reception for the opening of its new visitors center at 19th and I streets NW, to which members of the D.C. government and nonprofit groups were invited.
"We're basically here to call attention to the misguided policies of the IMF," said Ed Reid, who braved the chilly evening to hold up a large puppet of a gray mask. "They're having a reception, so we thought it would be a good time to show up."
The protest also was held to mark the one-year anniversary of the Seattle demonstrations, where some 40,000 protesters from different groups labor unions, environmental groups and anarchists successfully ruined a weeklong World Trade Organization summit intended to begin a new round of global trade talks. Hundreds of people were arrested after riots, fighting with police and damaging Seattle's downtown businesses.
But yesterday's protest was not violent, as the group in front of IMF headquarters chanted things like, "Cancel the debt now," "This is what democracy looks like," and "More world, no bank."
In Seattle yesterday, several hundred people held a peaceful rally to mark the anniversary of the protests.
D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams had been expected to attend the opening of the IMF visitors center, where agency officials planned to introduce a new multimedia presentation on the organization's efforts to finance economic development and promote reforms designed to help countries facing economic hardships. But the mayor didn't make it, and the public was not allowed to enter the reception.
After their success in Seattle last year, some 10,000 demonstrators protesting corporate globalization came to the District for a week in April for the IMF and World Bank's annual meetings. Their next stop was Philadelphia in late July, where a smaller group protested during the Republican National Convention. Even fewer attended protests in Los Angeles during the Democratic National Convention in mid-August.
The crowd last night may not have been large, but it was loud. Protesters stayed close together, chanting and moving around often to keep warm. A few held a large sign that said, "Resist." At one corner at IMF headquarters, the protesters had scratched off the "Reception" on a sign announcing "IMF Reception" and replaced it with "Rejection."
The crowd last night was a mixture of youths in clown garb, business-suit-clad 20-somethings who had rushed to the protest after their jobs, and older hippies and professionals.
At one point, a petite woman in a fur coat approached the crowd and was immediately handed several fliers about the different groups of protesters. She accepted them and walked over to three police officers, who stood nearby talking and drinking Starbucks coffee.
The woman then found her way to the IMF building entrance.

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