- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 26, 2002

Metropolitan police yesterday announced that streets around the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Northwest will be closed, beginning tonight, in preparation for protests tomorrow.
Police will shut down 19th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to G Street, and H Street from 18th to 20th streets, to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The restrictions will remain in effect until further notice, police officials said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Park Police yesterday practiced crowd-control tactics in Anacostia Park in Southeast in preparation for tomorrow, in which demonstrators are expected to try to shut down traffic into the District.
Sgt. Scott Fear, a U.S. Park Police spokesman, said officers have been practicing on and off since the last round of protests in April.
"Hopefully, this is a peaceful demonstration, but we are definitely prepared," Sgt. Fear said.
U.S. Park Police will be responsible for security during a rally and march Saturday at Sylvan Theater on the Mall and could be forced to intervene if demonstrators try to block access to the city via the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, he said.
A traffic tie-up involving two broken-down cars on Interstate 395 at Maine Avenue yesterday morning left many motorists wondering whether protesters were staging a dress rehearsal for tomorrow's activities.
None of the protest groups took credit for the disruption, which halted morning rush-hour traffic. Metropolitan Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said there was no indication the demonstrators were responsible.
One group, the Anti-Capitalist Convergence, or ACC, has vowed to "shut down the city" through traffic disruptions during what it calls a "people's strike." The action includes a "bike strike" that organizers say will put cyclists on the streets of downtown during the height of tomorrow morning's commute.
The group also plans a midday "die-in" at Freedom Plaza and Farragut Square to protest the Bush administration's proposed military action against Iraq.
In a news conference yesterday, ACC organizers said they are seeking the cancellation of all debts, including those owed by individuals. The movement also is calling for universal access to food, water and housing.
In other plans for protests, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery announced it will close tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday. The museum, which is home to several one-of-a-kind American craft pieces, is located at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, a block from the World Bank.


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