- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2002

For the second time in seven days, major demonstrations in the District are expected to draw thousands of protesters.
Demonstrations this weekend by a hodgepodge of more than a dozen groups will draw between 30,000 and 40,000 protesters, organizers predicted yesterday.
Several groups including those who oppose policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund say their protests will be driven by a single underlying concern that U.S. military policies are "undermining freedom, democracy and justice."
Terra Lawson-Remer of the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition expects "tens and tens of thousands" of demonstrators to unify, "unequivocally calling for peace."
Mrs. Lawson-Remer was joined yesterday at a news conference outside the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Southwest by other protest organizers, who released a schedule of nearly 50 events to be held across the District beginning today.
The events include panel discussions, teach-ins, concerts, rallies and marches set to culminate Saturday afternoon with a "National Rally to Stop the War at Home and Abroad" on the west steps of the Capitol.
Though a substantial chunk of the demonstrations will present criticism of globalization, as they have in the past few years, a conglomeration of groups will be sounding the alarm about a host of other causes.
Since early 2000, the meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington and elsewhere were met with large, sometimes violent, protests focused on economic issues.
"We expect the [anti-globalization] activities will have energy, but they are not going to be a large World Bank and IMF demonstration," said Robert Weissman of Mobilization for Global Justice. The group plans to rally Saturday morning outside the World Bank at 18th and H streets NW.
Organizers say the American-led war against terrorism will take center stage this weekend. The variety of groups, which includes the San Francisco-based Bay Area Anti-War Coalition and the Rainforest Action Network, suggests that something new is afoot since September 11.
"Despite ideological differences, these organizations [are coming] together in unprecedented solidarity," activist Roxanne Lawson said.
Mike Prokosch, a longtime left-leaning activist who works with Boston-based United for a Fair Economy, said, "Right now, you're seeing the anti-globalization movement hook up with the peace movement."
The result is the biggest crazy quilt of causes to come to Washington in decades.
Apart from the activity outside the World Bank, activists will congregate on Saturday morning outside the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue NW to demonstrate against Israel's operation in the West Bank.
Emad Fraitekh of the Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian People said he expects more than 5,000 pro-Palestinian activists to be on hand for the "peaceful" demonstration.
The New Black Panther Party is planning an "anti-Israel" demonstration at noon Saturday at the corner of 16th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW.
The convergence of the groups across the city has critics wondering what protesters of international trade might have in common with pro-Palestinian demonstrators.
"To build a movement for the Palestinians, we needed to connect with the anti-globalization movement," said Rami Elamine, an organizer with the Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Increasingly, anti-globalization activists have spoken of "getting the public's attention" through major demonstrations and creating "teachable moments" in which their message can be heard.
U.S. Park Police, U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department say they are ready for the crowds. A week of anti-IMF/World Bank demonstrations two years ago resulted in about 1,200 arrests.
Metropolitan Police have canceled all leave and expect all officers to work while the demonstrators are in town, and suburban agencies will send officers to bolster the ranks.
"We will not tolerate any level of civil disobedience. If it happens, we are prepared to respond swiftly," U.S. Capitol Police spokesman Lt. Dan Nichols said.

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