- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 13, 2001

Organizers of upcoming meetings of world financial groups and organizers of demonstrations against those meetings are reconsidering holding the events in D.C. in the wake of terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York.
Bill Murray, a spokesman for the International Monetary Fund, said the IMF and World Bank are reviewing whether to meet in the District on Sept. 29-30.
"No decision has been made as of yet," Mr. Murray said. "The issue will be discussed in the coming days."
Meanwhile, spokesmen for anti-capitalism groups planning massive demonstrations during the World Bank/IMF meetings said they also are reconsidering in the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
"We are really upset about what happened," said Adam Eidinger, an organizer for Mobilization for Global Justice. "Even the anarchists condemn the bombings. This is totally wrong."
A coordinator for the International Action Center, an anti-capitalism group, said the terrorists' destruction of the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon by crashing commercial airplanes into the buildings have made many wondering if it is appropriate to hold large-scale protests.
"Our thoughts are primarily with the victims," said the coordinator, who asked not to be identified. "This has thrown a lot of things up in the air. We probably won't decide until the dust has begun to settle."
City officials, including D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, have asked that the meetings be canceled in the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attacks. Police have said as many as 100,000 demonstrators are expected to rally against the World Bank/IMF meetings.
The protest organizers said they are certain their groups would not demonstrate if the meetings are canceled. The Mobilization for Global Justice and International Action Center are two of the larger groups in the anti-capitalism movement and have coordinated many protests.
Mr. Eidinger said protesters plan to meet today and Saturday and will decide what to do, adding that their decision will be easier if the IMF and the World Bank have already decided to cancel the meetings.
He said that, since the demonstrations have been planned and many people already have moved to this area to assist, they could reorganize the rallies into workshops and conferences, rather than marches.
"We'll probably scale back the whole event. It depends on where we are in a couple of days," Mr. Eidinger said. "The loss here is so great. It may take our movements some time to absorb a lot of it."
The Metropolian Police Department had anticipated doubling its 3,600-strong force during the demonstrations by temporarily adding police officers from nearby jurisdictions, especially the New York City Police Department. D.C. police planned to pay and house emergency response teams to assist during the demonstrations.
It is doubtful New York will send any officers since the city is in a state of emergency and scores of officers have been reported lost or dead in the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks.
Police had anticipated violence at the two-day long meetings and were planning to surround the part of downtown that would include the World Bank and IMF buildings and the White House with a 9-foot-high fence and jersey walls. Police said the high wall was necessary to protect the dignitaries.
Police also were anticipating violence from anarchists, especially members of the Black Bloc, who wear masks. During demonstrations in Canada and Italy, they set fire to entire blocks and tried to goad police into conflicts.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide