Anti-globalization activists held a second round of rallies and marches Saturday to protest the World Bank IMF meetings in Washington. Fewer demonstrators than expected showed up for the protests, which went off mostly peacefully.
At first, it had all the attributes of a folk festival in the park; young people sitting on the grass under spotless blue skies and some of the balmiest weather Washington has experienced in weeks. And then, there was music, a lot of music.
Rap here, bongo drum concerts there, in short, the sort of thing the anti-globalization organizers needed to show they intended this protest to be an upbeat, nonviolent affair.
Of course, that did not stop the anti-globalization rank-and-file from speaking their mind and making it clear did not like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Bush Administration, or the media.
First Protestor:"Despite the fact that the Bank has made a recent change in attempting to be poverty-oriented in their loan programs, essentially they haven't changed any of the core programs of structural adjustment: They've just given everything a new name and are attempting to whitewash over everything that has existed for the past 20 years."
Second Protestor:"George W. Bush and others have the nerve to think that they're superior to any other person on this Earth. I find that laughable."
Rally organizers said 20,000 protesters were on hand, but journalists present at the march agreed 2,000 showed up for the rally and anti-globalization march that ended in front of the heavily guarded World Bank building.
Hundreds of riot-clad police guarded World Bank headquarters, but there were few tense moments and police arrested fewer than 10 people by the time rally participants dispersed late Saturday. A final round of rallies is planned for Sunday.