- The Washington Times - Monday, September 30, 2002

If Friday's protests against the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and globalization were a discordant rage against the machine, Saturday's were more like a perturbed Rio carnival without rhythm.
There were Reds and Greens, anarchists in black coats and Greenpeace activists in white uniforms. Shrieking guitars from the band Blowback and drums from the Rhythm Worker's Union. There was a cardboard Trojan horse, a huge pink pig balloon and a gigantic inflated bottle of Coke.
The speakers seemed almost incidental to the affair just background noise against the dissonance of people telling one another about their pet causes. Every fifth person seemed to be passing out pamphlets (none of which were printed on recycled paper): There was the National Youth Rights Association, the Student Environmental Action Committee and the ANSWER Coalition. A sign said Ghana's water wasn't for sale, a banner suggested Colombia's labor unions were being assassinated, a poster called for Argentina to be cried over. Some placards complained about corporate abuse, others advocated stopping U.S. aid to Israel. The protesters wanted democracy, free health care, fair trade and environmental justice, but none of them seemed willing to pay for it.
Whether the carnival of protest on Saturday or the incoherent rage of Friday, the result was the same if the people spoke, they did so in a cacophony that did little to remedy any of the abuses allegedly being protested against.


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