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Anti-IMF protestors plot Czech "Seattle II"

by Agence France Presse Thursday, Aug. 10, 2000 at 7:19 AM

Anti-IMF protestors plot Czech "Seattle II"--- For Prague is bracing for what anti-globalization protestors are warning will be "Seattle II," a mass demonstration against the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank from September 21-29.

Excerpt: "Czech President Havel notably warned that "too much attention is being given to security arrangements, as if we were getting ready for some sort of civil war."

Gees, if only an American President thought so clearly.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Sunday, August 6 11:18 AM SGT

Anti-IMF protestors plot Czech "Seattle II"

PRAGUE, Aug 6 (AFP) -

The Czech capital Prague is currently basking in the

summer heat. Tourists

throng along the baroque Charles Bridge, Wenceslas

Square and up on the

Castle hill overlooking the spectacularly beautiful

city.

Everything is as it should be. But all that could change

dramatically next

month.

For Prague is bracing for what anti-globalization

protestors are warning

will be "Seattle II," a mass demonstration against the

annual meeting of

the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank

from September 21-29.

And, while all is calm on the streets, the plotting is

well underway -- on

the web.

"The protest in Seattle on November 30 1999 rocked

capitalism to its

foundations," say the authors of www.destroyimf.org, one

of a handful of

websites coordinating the protest plans. "We don't just

want to disrupt

their summits ... We want an end to debt, poverty and

capitalist

exploitation.

"That's why we're going to Prague to make the IMF summit

in September 2000

into Seattle II," it warns.

Czech authorities say they are taking all necessary

measures to prepare

for the meeting, being held in Europe for the first

time, which will

gather up to 20,000 ministers, bank chiefs and top

officials from dozens

of countries.

Some 11,000 police equipped with riot gear are to be

deployed in September

to control an estimated 20,000 protestors expected to

descend on the

Bohemian capital from Europe and around the world.

IMF director general Horst Koehler visited Prague last

week to discuss

preparations for the meetings, and pledged total

openness with the

protestors, saying delegates will even attend some

meetings organized by

NGOs.

Czech President Havel notably warned that "too much

attention is being

given to security arrangements, as if we were getting

ready for some sort

of civil war."

Protestors aren't so sure. And they are using the power

of the internet to

coordinate travel, accommodation and protest location

arrangements.

"Turn Prague into Seattle!" says Workers' Power

(www.workerspower.com/),

describing the September meeting as "aiming to plot the

next stage of

restoring capitalism in Eastern Europe."

The IMF and the World Bank "are unreformable

institutions which harm world

society and the environment and must be dismantled,"

said Alice Dvorska,

spokesman for the Initiative Against Economomic

Globalization (INPEG).

INPEG (http://inpeg.ecn.cz/) is notably organizing a

"counter-summit" from

September 22-24. Britons, Poles and Dutch are expected

to be prominent

among foreigners swelling the protest ranks.

The main street protests will be September 24 and 26,

the second one

likely to be more radical.

The planned Prague protests could be the biggest since

last year's Seattle

anti-WTO demonstrations which turned violent and which

appear to have set

a tone for regular counter-culture events at such

meetings.

This year protests have marred proceedings at the World

Economic Forum

(WEF)'s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland in

February, the IMF/World

Bank spring meeting in Washington in April, and most

recently last month's

G8 summit in Okinawa.

Last week the first real, if symbolic, protest was held

in the Old Town

Square in the heart of the Czech capital.

A football match pitted three "global" players --

dressed up as McDonalds,

Shell and Phillip Morris -- against a worker, a farmer

and a woman. With

the help of an IMF/World Bank referee , the three global

giants easily

won.

Tourists were the main beneficiaries of the protest. But

for global

protestors, the web is clearly the place to keep up to

date.

The destroyimf website, which includes advice on travel

and accommodation

as well as constantly updated information on protest

locations, says the

Czech authorities are not alone.

"The IMF summit in Prague will be protected by a Czech

police operation

run by the FBI," it says.

"The challenge to the workers' movement is to shutdown

that summit with

the biggest international demo Europe has ever seen."

======================

*** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section

107, this material

is distributed without profit to those who have

expressed a prior interest

in receiving the included information for research and

educational

purposes. Feel free to distribute widely but PLEASE

acknowledge the

source. ***

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Wait a sec... the FBI? TheNewOhioGreen Thursday, Aug. 10, 2000 at 12:29 PM
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