Protesters denounce globalism, war

Some 1,000 demonstrators gather in Washington during World Bank event

April 25, 2004|By COX NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON - Parading past offices of multinational corporations, chanting and dancing protesters denounced globalism and the Iraq war yesterday during meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

This economic protest - a rite of spring in recent years - was only a warm-up for much larger demonstrations at the Group of Eight summit on Sea Island, Ga., in June, predicted some marchers.

"There will definitely be more people in Georgia," said Jesse Haveh, a self-described Communist who wore a black beret with a red star and carried a red flag with the hammer-and-sickle symbol. "There are two caravans of buses going from here."

Haveh, who said he was born in Russia but lives in a Maryland suburb of Washington, said he will be among the protesters in Georgia. "I will go to represent the workers of the world," he said, explaining that he believes "in the ideals of Lenin" that were corrupted in the latter decades of the former Soviet Union.

On this sunny day, the 1,000 or so demonstrators were kept blocks away from the international economic meetings. Police wearing shorts and riding bicycles kept the march on its designated route through a largely deserted downtown.

The mood was festive. A fair was set up in a park with games such as "Dunk Your Favorite International Economist," and bands played protest songs. "Radical Cheerleaders" jumped and pranced to the beat of plastic-bucket drums and shouted, "One. Two. Three. Four. Stop the war on the poor. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Global justice cannot wait."

Colorful message T-shirts proclaimed tidings from the movement: "Bush Satan 2004," "Pro-Choice and Anti-Catholic," "Faux News Channel - We Deceive. You Believe" and "IMF - You're Fired." A group of youngsters wore white T-shirts with "I Am One" on the front and "We Are Many" on the back and chanted "Stop war and occupation. Fight for jobs and education."

A gray-haired woman from the Veteran Feminists Organization sold buttons for a buck, reading "More Trees. Less Bush," "Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History" and "Re-Defeat Bush."

Maxamia Codella, 17, decided to wear a bright green shirt and headband to the protest. "I thought globalization, and I thought green," she said. "I was just in a green mood today."

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