Police Attempt to Block Corporate Globalization Protests
For Immediate Release
Contact: Adam Eidinger, 202.986.6186
Brant Olson, 202.365.3535
Katie Selenski, 202.486.6403
WASHINGTON, DC (April 17, 2002) -- Global Justice activists are feeling the pinch of their civil liberties at home. After three weeks of review, the DC Metro Police Department belatedly denied a permit for the Mobilization for Global Justice (MGJ) to present brief street theater demonstrations and speeches in front the IMF and World Bank headquarters and four downtown corporate offices implicated in the expanding war in Colombia. In a fax to organizers, police indicated that protesters would only be allowed to rally several blocks away from the IMF and World Bank and proceed along a separate route well away from the corporate offices.
Organizers are alarmed that the police move was made without consultation. They assert the changed route has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose and goals of their demonstration. "Mobilization members have a constitutional right to call attention to destructive corporate policies and to peacefully protest at these offices. This has been totally and completely denied us" said Adam Eidinger, an activist with MGJ.
The group plans to press ahead with legal challenges to police requirements. Metro Police are currently defendants in a series of lawsuits alleging civil liberties violations following sweeping arrests two years ago just before major corporate globalization protests in Washington, DC. Organizers view the current police mandate as an example of how corporate interests routinely trump those of citizens. "There's something wrong with democracy when the police engage in political acts like this" said Brant Olson of the MGJ.
The Mobilization for Global Justice (MGJ) has planned two days of rallies and marches including:
A Saturday morning rally with speakers from the Global South at Murrow Park in front of the headquarters of the IMF and the World Bank followed by a march to the corporate offices listed here below.
Street theatre skits in front of the Coca-Cola offices at 800 Connecticut Avenue, calling attention to the killing of union organizers in Colombia.
Skits in front of a Citibank branch at 1400 G St. NW. Citibank intends to direct funds into further oil and other resource exploitation efforts that will increase human rights violations and environmental destruction.
Street theater in front of Monsanto at 600 13th St. NW. Monsanto is profiting from the Plan Columbia fumigation campaign. Intended for coca crops, the fumigations have already devastated thousands of hectares of food crops and rainforest in the Andean region.
Sunday, the group will visit U.S. oil company Occidental at 1717 Pennsylvania Ave., to construct a symbolic pipeline to the White House. Earlier this year, the Bush administration requested $98 million in military aid for the Colombian army to protect an Occidental pipeline in Colombia. Representatives of the indigenous U'Wa people from Colombia are scheduled to speak in front of Occidental's offices on how Plan Colombia would further the invasion of their territory.
The Mobilization for Global Justice is a Washington, DC based organization of groups and individuals focused on the growing problem of corporate globalization in today's world. Visit our web site at: www.globalizethis.org
- 194 World Financial Institutions