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News :: Globalization
World Bank PR Bloodsuckers
19 Apr 2005
Modified: 02:29:13 PM
Members of the "Boston Direct Action Project" dressed as vampires impersonate public relations associates of the World Bank, Washington DC. April 15th & 16th, 2005.
World Bank Public Relations Officer Action
Boston Direct Action Project
April 15-16, 2005, Washington, D.C.

On April 15 and 16, 2005 three members of the Boston Direct Action Project masqueraded as World Bank public relations representatives, with black suits, vampire fangs, and large black umbrellas. They hit the streets of Washington, DC during the mobilization against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to show “the true face of the World Bank.”

Day I – The National Mall – Friday, April 15

The vampire spokespeople, Vladimir Wolfenstein, Wilhelm Wolfentyre and Erzsébet Wolfsbane, engaged commuters on the DC Metro. They said they wanted to show the real face of the World Bank, as they flashed their fangs. A number of commuters laughed in amusement.

They insisted that Bank privatization policies and loans to dictators were all actually positive because they help preserve the current economic and social order.

They spoke in a very disparaging and dismissive way about “those people” out there protesting, referring to them as “misinformed commoners” and “misguided mortals”.

A young woman responded “In other words, the World Bank is sucking the blood out of everybody? I need to know for my people, y’all lookin’ like you undercover, like you workin’ for the Count.”

The basic functioning of the international economy was summed up by Wilhelm, who said, “As long as the upper classes, like us, are makin’ money, everyone’s happy. There’s a natural division in society.”

The vampire spokespeople then made their way around the National Mall. They stopped at museums to talk with people and pass out business cards listing anti-World Bank websites.

A man from Ghana talked about the negative effects of the World Bank in his country. He said the Bank programs didn’t end poverty and most people were still struggling. He talked about the currency devaluation after the structural adjustment programs, saying the exchange rate fell from 1 Ghanaian cidi to $1 US in the 70’s to 10,000 cidis to $1 US today.

He said, “The majority of these activities going on goes to benefit the international corporate organizations. You don’t have to go to a PhD to see the truth. The truth is on the street…Africa has all the resources it needs to develop… Africa is the richest continent on the planet. Where are the resources going?...It is just a matter of time that people in poor nations will rise and also start to do terrorist activities because there’s an imbalance.” Before leaving he thanked the group for their work in telling people the truth about the Bank.

In front of the Air and Space Museum, the vampires were surrounded by 40-60 adolescents on a field trip. A boy from Georgia whose father had been laid off asked if the World Bank supported US factories moving overseas and the loss of American jobs. Wilhelm said, “Some Americans may get laid off, may lose their healthcare and all that, but you know what, the strong survive.”

A member of the Direct Action group dressed as businessman, with band-aids on his neck covering bite marks, remarked “The more I listen to those World Bank people, the more persuaded I become. It’s a wonderful piece of work they’re doing at the World Bank. Helping people, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about helping people…and making a lot of money.”

Day II – World Bank/IMF Mobilization – Saturday, April 16th

Before the march started the vampires gave interviews with video, radio and print journalists and made impromptu presentations to groups of protesters around the rally in front of the World Bank headquarters.

When the march of about 1,000 demonstrators left the World Bank headquarters heading towards DuPont Circle the spokespeople unsuccessfully tried to stop the “misguided protesters” from marching.

As the spokespeople passed the lines of police they gave them cards and thumbs up, thanking them for keeping the rabble in line.

A man that was unimpressed with Vladimire’s presentation snapped, “They don’t wear suits at the World Bank! WE DON'T WEAR SUITS AT THE WORLD BANK!”

Towards the end of the rally the vampires were booed from the stage as they tried to persuade the crowd to support World Banks policies. The Bloodsuckers were then driven from the park by the “Rude Mechanical Orchestra“ a radical marching band <>; lead by a high-kicking flag twirler.


According to the Washington Post

“Damian Sean Milverton, acting media manager for the World Bank, said the demonstrators' numbers might be dwindling because of the outreach done by the organization and the IMF to activist groups from around the world, Milverton said.”

Picture of Damian Sean Milverton wearing a suit (on left);
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Re: World Bank PR Bloodsuckers
19 Apr 2005
See a video clip of the action in this excalent <a href="" target="_blank">video</a> of the IMF/World Bank protest from <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. The Bloodsuckers apper about 6 mins into that video. (You will need the <a href="" target="_blank">RealPlayer</a> to view it.