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World Bank / IMF protests planned for DC today

Brought to you by Anti-Capitalist Convergence, who plan to shut DC down today in a symbolic protest.

Their call to Action

We are calling for NON-COMPLIANCE with the system in the tradition of strikes -a stoppage of normal activity to protest objectionable conditions, a halting of our participation in the system. We are calling for RESISTANCE to force the system to shut down. Refuse to go to work or school on September 27, or stay on the job and give everything out for free, slow down production, stick a wrench in the gears! Be in the streets, reclaim public space, discuss your ideas!

Check in with DC Indymedia to see what’s happening on the streets, real-time, as it happens.

Police, protesters In D.C. prepare for day of disruption

Anti-capitalism activists envision slow-moving caravans on the Capital Beltway impeding this morning’s commute, bicyclists clogging downtown streets and thousands of demonstrators working together to generate as much inconvenience as they can for the District.

D.C. police see another possibility: If today’s protests, timed for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, turn violent or disruptive, jail cells will fill.  “These people that are apprehended are going to miss several protests,” said Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, “because they’ll be behind bars.” <For driving too slow?>

The always perceptive Sam Smith at Progressive Review (based in DC) on the hidebound reaction of DC police brass – even before the event starts.

The capital’s top cops are talking about the upcoming IMF-World Bank more like Mike Tyson before a fight than like professional police officers in a democracy. Chief Charles Ramsey and US Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer (formerly Ramsey’s assistant) set a bad precedent with their law and constitution-battering approach to the April 2000 demonstrations including illegal raids and mass arrests – onsequences of which are still in court.

But this time Gainer even talked about getting an injunction against the protesters until someone at the US Attorney’s office apparently briefed him on the Constitution. Now he’s threatening to charge people who discommode the sidewalk under federal anti-racketeering statutes, which is like shooting a parking violator.

As we have pointed out, DC has a long history of handling demonstrations (including many much larger than predicted this weekend) with professionalism and respect. But the arrival of Ramsey and Gainer – right-wing cowboy cops from Chicago – have made the city a much nastier place in which to behave like an American. <Yet another sign the 60’s are coming back – thug cops from Chicago.>

The sycophantic local media have joined Ramsey and Gainer in circulating the proposition that exercising one’s democratic rights might somehow make it easier for terrorists to operate in the city. And above all, they never cease reminding people that the demonstrations may disrupt Washingtonians’ most sacred right – that of being tied up in morning traffic.

And how does the city’s finest intend to respond to this terrifying possiblity? By doing what the city does best: closing off streets, of course. Even at moments of extreme tension, the bureaucratic paradigm triumphs.