Magazine article Insight on the News

Will Seattle's Battlers Dust Up the District of Columbia?

Magazine article Insight on the News

Will Seattle's Battlers Dust Up the District of Columbia?

Article excerpt

Any day now, Washington will play host to a major gathering of the grandees of global finance, as officials from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank convene to decide which tin-pot regime to prop up next with money that eventually will fatten some offshore bank account. They are a solemn, dignified, well-tailored lot who would much prefer quiet, well-mannered negotiations in mahogany-paneled meeting rooms to dealing with angry demonstrators. But demonstrators they will get, since their gathering is targeted by many of the same malcontents who sparked the "Battle in Seattle" last December while protesting the policies of the World Trade Organization (see "Challenge to WTO Creates New Politics," April 17).

Organizers of the forthcoming protest, aware that they have something of an image problem, have issued a call for "peacekeepers"--volunteers whose role will be to enforce a rule of no violence, physical or verbal; no weapons; no alcohol or drugs; and no property destruction. No doubt unconsciously, organizers harked back into history for a phrase familiar to opponents of civil-rights marches in blaming the Seattle violence and destruction on outside agitators. …

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