Mobilization for Global Justice
For Immediate Release
August 12, 2001
WORLD BANK AND IMF RETREAT
REDUCE LENGTH OF SEPTEMBER MEETING
The Mobilization for Global Justice is pleased to see that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are feeling the pressure of the growing movement against corporate globalization. The decision to shorten the meeting reflects the growing anxiety of the World Bank and the IMF over their public image. By shortening the meetings they hope to reduce their exposure to the news media and public debates, thus limiting the opportunities to force them to defend their policies.
It does not matter to the impoverished people of the world and our collective global environment whether the World Bank and IMF meet for six days, five days, two days, or not at all. What matters is the devastating impacts of these institutions' policies on the impoverished and on the environment upon which we all depend for life.
The Mobilization for Global Justice demands that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund:
· Open all World Bank and IMF meetings to the media and the public.
· Cancel all impoverished country debt to the World Bank and IMF, using the
institutions' own resources.
· End all World Bank and IMF policies that hinder people's access to food, clean water, shelter, health care, education, and right to organize. (Such
"structural adjustment" policies include user fees, privatization, and economic austerity programs.)
· Stop all World Bank support for socially and environmentally destructive projects such as oil, gas, and mining activities, and all support for projects such as dams that include forced relocation of people.
We furthermore demand that the United States government, the largest shareholder and most influential government in the World Bank and IMF, adopt the above demands and work vigorously to compel the World Bank and IMF to implement them.
Until and unless these demands are met, the protests and other activities planned by the Mobilization for Global Justice will go forward.
Regarding plans for the militarization of downtown Washington, and the city's request for million in taxpayer funds, the Mobilization for Global Justice (MGJ) is concerned that law enforcement agencies are preparing for violence while the MGJ is organizing for peaceful protests and popular education. In light of recent well-documented instances of police infiltration, provocation, and gratuitous violence at European protests against corporate globalization, the MGJ expresses its grave concern that recent statements by city and police officials could well create a polarized atmosphere in Washington as part of a strategy to justify similar infringements of basic rights of free speech and assembly. The MGJ wishes to remind all concerned that over 1,200 arrests at the April 2000 protests against the World Bank and IMF resulted in no convictions, and that police conduct during that period is the subject of several ongoing lawsuits.
Press Conference Monday August 13, 2pm National Press Club, Murrow Room,
529 14th St NW
The Mobilization for Global Justice is a coalition of groups organizing educational and protest activities in opposition to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. For more information:
Contacts: Matt Smucker (cell) 202-903-7257,
Jen Carr (202) 783-8060, David Levy (cell) (202) 669-5929