S29 - Summary and pics
by db 5:56pm Sun Sep 30 '01 (Modified on 6:11am Mon Oct 1 '01)
more on S29

thought the DC WB/ IMF meeting was cancelled because of the 9-11 terror attacks there was a big march of 20,000 people.
p.s.: actually they decided to try to meet in Ottawa, N17-18

Eventually, the rally turned into a march toward the Capitol building. By now, there were 15,000-20,000 protesters, all shouting and banging drums. One activist on a megaphone led the chants with 'War is not the answer!' and 'Money for schools, not for war! Money for housing, not for war!'.


Thousands of protesters marched in Washington, D.C. today in opposition to U.S. war plans. Marches were organized by the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (ACC), the International Action Center (IAC) and International ANSWER.

At 9am, the ACC gathered near Union Station. There were several hundred demonstrators, carrying signs and beating drums. Already, there was a heavy police presence, in full riot gear. Several hundred police carried guns, clubs and bags filled with unknown contents, and wore face shields, helmets, body armor, and leg and arm guards.

Initially, the police were not going to permit the march from proceeding. However, it was clear that the demonstrators were going to do so anyway, so the police formed a line on either side of the street, enclosing the marchers as they moved. The police pushed several protesters out of the way, and were very hostile.

Leading the march was a banner that said "No War But The Class War". Most of the demonstrators were students and youth, and there were many anarchists among them. The main focus of the march was opposition to the upcoming war. Some of the other slogans were "Hey hey, ho ho, Capitalism Has Got To Go!" and "The Enemy is Profit!". As the police stepped up their stand against the marchers, other slogans started up, like "2, 4, 6, 8, Fuck the police state!" and "Whose streets? Our streets!". As the march continued the numbers grew, and there may have been 1000 to 1500 people as the demonstration approached the IMF buildings.

Once in front of the IMF buildings, the protesters where surrounded by a ring of police. Soon, police on horses and motorcycles showed up, blocking all exit from the area. Other chants went up: "Let us go!". The police gave no reason for detaining the marchers.

There was some discussion of breaking through the police blockade, but they had too much artillery. Eventually, after about an hour, the police opened a small hole, and forcibly pushed all the demonstrators out using their clubs.

The march proceeded back toward Union Station. A few construction workers hailed the protesters as they passed by (see photos)(although, one news source claims that there were workers opposed to the anti-war stance of the marchers). As I watched them, many of the construction workers clearly supported the marchers. I also saw one worker in an office building signalling the demonstrators with the peace sign.

There were several incidents of pepper spray being used by the police, and there where a few arrests. The protesters where very non-confrontational, although they verbally attacked the police for their aggression. One protester shouted, "You are making the Taliban look good!" while two demonstrators where being arrested.

Eventually, the march joined another rally already in progress. There were around 10,000 demonstrators here. They were very loud and spirited. The speakers at the platform were from different progressive parties or church organizations, and the message was, "War is not the answer!". The speakers encouraged everyone to "Unite for peace", and "End racism", and there where several calls for "Justice!". One speaker said, "Don't wage war abroad — end the race war at home!". There were many more youth and students, but a large part of the crowd was composed of working class people. One banner (the JMU Students For Peace) said, "No War - No Racism - No Capitalism". However, the speakers and organizers of the rally stopped short of condemning capitalism, and instead focused on stopping the impending war, and calling for an end to racism both here and abroad.

There was a small pro-war contingent that demonstrated on the sidewalk at one point. They carried signs that said "Support the Troops" and "Traitors" (referring to the protesters). The demonstrators shouted them down, and continued the march.

Eventually, the rally turned into a march toward the Capitol building. By now, there were 15,000-20,000 protesters, all shouting and banging drums. One activist on a megaphone led the chants with "War is not the answer!" and "Money for schools, not for war! Money for housing, not for war!".

There was another rally when the marched reached the Capitol building. The protesters where very spirited, even after some of them had been driving from as far away as Ohio and Illinois to join this Washington protest. The police presence for this larger group of demonstrators was smaller, and was without the body armor (either because they did not want to antagonize such a large crowd, or they were concerned about media coverage).

Overall, the march in Washington, D.C. against the war was very positive. There seems to be broad opposition to the U.S. policy of permanent warfare in response to the attacks on Sept. 11. There where also other marches in other parts of the country today, as well as internationally. See indymedia for coverage of these events.

There are more anti-war marches planned for October 27th in New York, and around the country.


riot cops




which one should we kill?

burning US flag


Actions against Globalization

Links to other S29 Pages

Anti-Capitalist Convergence www.abolishthebank.org
Zapatista Block www.geocities.com/zapatistablock/