Washington focus for globalisation protests

15 April 2000

Activists from across the US will converge in Washington to protest at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. The protest is seen as a logical follow up to the WTO protests in Seattle last year. A week of activities have been organised starting with a rally by Jubilee 2000 on 9 April and ending on 17 April.

Organisers will present a set of demands signed by many NGOs and individuals from across the world to World Bank and IMF leaders. They are calling for

“the immediate suspension of the policies and practices that have caused widespread poverty, inequality, and suffering among the world’s peoples and damage to the world’s environment. We assert the responsibility of these anti-democratic institutions, together with the World Trade Organization, for an unjust world economic system.”

They are also demanding:

  • the IMF and World Bank cancel all debts owed them;
  • the IMF and World Bank cease imposing structural adjustment which has exacerbated poverty and inequality;
  • the IMF and World Bank accept responsibility for the disastrous impact of structural adjustment by paying reparations to the communities who have borne that impact;
  • the World Bank Group pay reparations to peoples relocated and otherwise harmed by its large projects (such as dams) and compensate governments for repayments on projects which World Bank evaluations rank as failures;
  • the World Bank Group immediately cease providing advice and resources through its division devoted to private-sector investments;
  • the agencies and individuals within the World Bank Group and IMF complicit in abetting corruption, as well as their accomplices in borrowing countries, be prosecuted, and provide compensation for resources stolen and damage done;
  • the future existence, structure, and policies of international institutions such as the World Bank Group and the IMF be determined through a democratic, participatory and transparent process.

Full text of statement available from demands50years@yahoo.com .

In South Africa, parallel actions have been organised in Cape Town and Johannesburg. For details contact the Alternative Information and Development Centre aidc@iafrica.com or visit www.aidc.org.za and the Campaign Against Neoliberalism in South Africa cansa@sn.apc.org respectively.