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News ::
Anti-War Protests Underway in D.C.
29 Sep 2001
Modified: 01 Oct 2001
Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2001 12:27:49 -0700

Anti-War Protests Underway in D.C.
Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2001 12:27:49 -0700

Anti-War Protests Underway in D.C.

By Christina Pino-Marina Staff Writer
Saturday, September 29, 2001; 2:13 PM

Demonstrators began a series of weekend rallies in the
nation's capital today, shifting from anti-globalization themes to anti-war protests after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

About 10 a.m., hundreds of protesters organized by the
D.C.-based Anti-Capitalist Convergence group started their march toward the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
headquarters, at Pennsylvania Avenue and 18th and 19th streets NW. The demonstrators left Upper Senate Park, at New
Jersey Avenue and C Street NW, headed down New Jersey Avenue
to H Street NW and through Chinatown.

D.C. police had estimated that 4,000 people would take
part in anti-war events in the city today, but organizers of a noon
march have said they expect 10,000 people for that
event alone.

As many as 100,000 protesters had been expected to
converge in Washington
this weekend to demonstrate during the IMF
and World Bank meetings. The meetings were canceled
after terrorists leveled
the World Trade Center towers and destroyed a
section of the Pentagon, killing thousands. Some
protests groups abandoned
their plans to rally in Washington, but others
quickly mobilized behind a growing anti-war movement.

At the core of the anti-war sentiments, some
protesters say, is the belief that Osama bin Laden, the Saudi fugitive targeted by the Bush administration as the mastermind behind the attacks, should be brought to justice through courts instead of military force.

Protesters, flanked by police officers in riot gear,
carried signs with anti-capitalist and anti-war slogans. One slogan stated "To Stop Terrorism, Stop Terrorizing." A man whose face was covered by a black handkerchief gave no answer when asked about the meaning of the sign.

Natalie Williams, 68, of East Harlem, N.Y., carried
another anti-war slogan stating "Violence Does Not Solve Violence."

"I don't categorize this speaking out against a
potential war as anti-American," Williams said. "I'm objecting to the policies of America. The U.S. ? they were the ones who set up these policies, this
exploitation of people around the world."

Many of her fellow protesters carried black and red
flags and beat drums and the bottoms of plastic buckets as they headed to the IMF and World Bank headquarters.

At one point during the march, there were brief
skirmishes between protesters and police. On H Street, between 11th and 12th streets, demonstrators surrounded a police cruiser and sat on the hood of the car. Officers responded by spraying pepper spray and backing the protesters away from the scene.

Gabe Talton, a lawyer from the National Lawyer's Guild
who was at the march as an observer, said he witnessed the incident.

Protesters "surrounded the car and tried to stop it
and another red SUV," he said. "They sat on the cars and then the police sprayed some pepper spray. I don't think anyone was hurt, but I did see a policewoman who had her helmet stripped off."

One police official was hit by some pepper spray
during the march. Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer could be seen near the World Bank splashing water on his face and in his eyes. However, Sgt. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman, said Gainer was all right, adding, "He just got hit in the eyes with some pepper spray."

For the most part, the protest was peaceful with
protesters focusing on their message and not aggression toward police.

Katrina Errico, 18, who hitchhiked from San Francisco,
said the terrorist attacks caused a significant change in the tone of today's protest.

"It's geared a lot more towards peace, love and
unity," Errico said "Before it would have been a lot more radical and violent. The attacks kind of calmed people down a lot."

Another protester, a 20-year-old man from Western
Pennsylvania who would
only identify himself as "Fusion," said instead of
military strikes, he prefers for the United States to
try negotiating with
those responsible for the attacks.

"We should try any solution except destruction. If
there is no possible way
to negotiate peace and truth, we may have to support
military strikes," Fusion said. "We should find out
what it is they hate about us. We should make compromises in our support of Israel, and we should end our absolute economic imperialism. Both the United States and the terrorists share responsibility in the attacks."

After protesters reached the World Bank and IMF
headquarters, police prevented them from leaving for about an hour. Police encircled protesters in front of the World Bank and blocked off the entrance to the World Bank with metal dividers and a police line. During that time, protesters played soccer, held hands and chanted.
Police then pushed protesters, directing them back
down H street.

U.S. Park Police showed up on the scene in black riot
gear to help bolster the police presence. They established lines on cross streets to help control the crowd movement.

About 1 p.m., at H and 15th streets NW, another brief
clash occurred between demonstrators and police. Streams of pepper spray dispersed the crowd and Police Chief Charles
Ramsey, who had been leading a line of police ahead of the protesters, helped pin down one demonstrator, who was handcuffed and taken away.

The demonstration moved down 14th Street to Freedom
Plaza, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. There
demonstrators joined hundreds of other protesters for
a second march to the
U.S. Capitol.

Onlookers watched from behind shop windows and along
the march route. Darryl
Williams, a tourist from Rochester, N.Y.,
said he was distraught by the activity. "Right now, I
am nothing but angry
when I see this; all they are doing is dividing the
country," he said. "They don't appreciate what they

The march originating at Freedom Plaza was organized
by a coalition called International ANSWER, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. The group was formed by the
International Action Center, a New York political activist organization that originally had planned to surround the White House.

Police said they also expected hundreds of
counter-demonstrators at the
Washington Monument and possibly along the planned
routes of the anti-war demonstrators.

Police said they did not expect major delays but
planned to close streets along the routes for brief periods of time while the demonstrators marched.

Tomorrow, an event organized by the Washington Peace
Center and the of the American Friends Service
Committee will take place at 11 a.m. at Meridian Hill
Park, 16th and Euclid streets NW. That march will take demonstrators through Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan.

2001 Washington Post Newsweek
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notice the other articles
30 Sep 2001
im from boston, representing us down here in DC. i've taken a look at msnbc news and they almost seem to make the protests seem like a bunch of commies and anarchists (both "bad" words with allusions of chaos and anti-america). msnbc actually uses that a lot. take a look at the others, and thanks washington post for being nice to a group and cause looking for proper media representation.

Commies and Anarchists?
01 Oct 2001
The two main organizers were International Action Center (Stalinists) and the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (mainly anarchists)... It would be difficult to make make the claim that these protests were not organized by commies and anarchists! Not that this fact should diminish the importance of protesting this war.