- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 29, 2002

Thousands of protesters held a mostly peaceful march and rally in front of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund yesterday in stark contrast to Friday's protests in which 649 persons were arrested.
"They had their voices heard, and the city was not shut down," said Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, who described the protests yesterday as "peaceful."
However, four demonstrators were arrested at 20th and K streets NW and charged with possession of explosive devices.
Police Cmdr. Cathy Lanier said the four protesters two men and two women were assembling a weapon in an alley when officers approached. They ran off but were quickly caught.
Cmdr. Lanier said the weapon contained nails, but she declined to provide more details.
The four, dressed in black, appeared to have two coffee cans, each with a wick or string about 2 feet long, the Associated Press reported.
A lawyer with the Lawyers Guild, which has been working with the protesters, said police stopped the suspects because they were carrying a banner, then searched their backpacks and found the materials.
A few thousand protesters carrying signs for a wide variety of causes, including workers' rights and water for Ghana, gathered at the Sylvan Theatre in the shadow of the Washington Monument for speeches and music. About 3 p.m. the protesters marched their oversized puppets, colorful banners and drums up 15th Street.
Several heckled police along the parade route, but there were none of the confrontations that marked Friday's demonstrations. Conspicuously absent was Chief Ramsey, who has become a familiar sight at the head of these parades, leaning on his nightstick, talking with protesters and posing for pictures.
Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said Chief Ramsey spent his day greeting officers on the police line on the parade route. About 1,700 officers from 24 jurisdictions from as far away as Chicago and Macon, Ga., were in town to assist the Metropolitan Police Department.
Demonstrators are expected to march from Dupont Circle to Vice President Richard B. Cheney's residence at the Naval Observatory today to protest the impending war on Iraq.
Yesterday, Chief Ramsey spent much of his time behind the police line surrounding Murrow Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue NW in front of World Bank headquarters. He could be seen talking frequently with U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, whose 320 officers manned the police line between the park and World Bank headquarters.
Chief Gainer said Chief Ramsey "had a good plan and executed it well" and contrasted the march with Friday's activities.
"When you have 500 arrests, it's not perfect," Chief Gainer said. "This is the way it's supposed to go."
The permitted march was diverted down I Street and made a stop at Farragut Square, where some protesters mounted the statue in the center of the park, attaching a black flag and protest banners. Several small paper fires were lit at the base of the statue, but they were quickly extinguished by the protesters. However, protesters went on to burn an effigy of corporate greed suspended from a pole wedged into the monument.
U.S. Park Police arrested one protester for defacing a statue.
The protesters arrived at Murrow Park at 6 p.m. A concrete jersey wall with a black steel fence bolted to its top that stood about 5 feet high separated police and demonstrators. The wall hemmed in protesters, who had planned to "quarantine" the annual meetings at the financial institution by joining hands in a circle around the block to prevent delegates from leaving the building.
Police arrested one protester for throwing a bottle.
There were scattered disruptions outside the perimeter, as several small groups danced in intersections and stretched yarn across roads that had already been closed, but they disbanded as fast as they attracted the attention of police.
The march and rally was sponsored by the Mobilization for Global Justice, which for three years has attempted to disrupt the meetings. They say they want the institutions to drop the debt of poor countries, end policies they say impoverish people around the world, stop environmentally damaging projects and bring openness to the meetings of the finance ministers.
Protest organizer Robert Weissman, who spent the day at the head of the parade in the back of a pickup truck with speakers offering music and instructions, called the demonstration a success.
"I think we're all really thrilled," said Mr. Weissman, 29. "We gave a clear message to the IMF and World Bank, and highlighted the harms they have perpetrated around the world."

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