We are calling for disruptive actions throughout Georgetown, respecting a diversity of tactics, for October 19th, starting at 9pm.
We will have an unpermitted march through Georgetown. We will assemble at Washington Circle - near the Foggy Bottom Metro (the closest metro to Georgetown) and promptly depart for Georgetown at 9pm sharp.
The action working group of the coalition has put together various information about Georgetown, including a map of the area, a photo gallery, and points of interest directly connected to the IMF and World Bank.
This is Georgetown.
30th and M is viewed by many as the 'heart' of the shopping/commercial area of Georgetown, and walk any direction on M, 30th, or Wisconsin and you will have nothing but high-end shops, clubs, and restaurants in every direction. Head off of these streets and you'll find both more of the same, and also the homes of many of the people who make the IMF, World Bank, and oppression of DC possible.
At this point, people are planning actions in and near the heart of the commercial area of Georgetown, but remember: creativity is a virtue. As we get closer to the event, we expect more groups to develop and, if appropriate, announce action plans, within the established framework.
There will be an unpermitted march through Georgetown.
The Problems With Georgetown
So, why Georgetown? Why not go to the Bank and IMF itself on Friday as well as Saturday?
The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund, and Neoliberalism
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund, as puppets of the US government and an international class of rulers and financiers, carry out plans dictated by powerful people, outside of the institutions themselves. In their wake, they leave death and destruction; IMF austerity plans and failed World Bank infrastructural development projects that displace poor people for the continued economic benefit of the Bank and the Fund themselves.
Years of bilateral meetings of the Bank and Fund have shown that private capital will be protected at any expense. The police erect barricades, put thousands of pigs on the perimeter, hire private security, and use all of the latest gadgets including less lethal weaponry, all to defend a building. They will defend their imperial palace by any means necessary. In an age when popular movements against neoliberalism are as global as corporate capital, we, in social movements, cannot restrict ourselves to targeting simply the mediators of global finance.
They, the World Bank and IMF, are but two actors that, while significant in size, are ultimately irrelevant to the continued existence of capitalism and, more specifically, neoliberalism; the model of capitalism that favors privatization, deregulation and market liberalization. The Bank and Fund must be stopped, but they must be stopped along with all of their equally exploitative counterparts including local real estate developers, finance ministers, bankers and government officials.
The October Coalition
The Direct Action Working Group of the October Coalition, based in the Washington DC area, has thus decided that to demonstrate our opposition to the World Bank, the IMF, and neoliberalism, and to do our small part to help strengthen a movement against capitalism, we must go to where the power actually lies.
Yes, we, and all those who join us, will be marching near the buildings that house the World Bank and IMF, as one small voice among many, shaming them for their decades of economic colonialism and, calling them out for over 60 years of odious debt.
However, we will also be taking our grievances to those who wrong the people of our city through their massive gentrification and urban renewal plans. Many of these same people also help to prop up the global finance system through privatization schemes, the exploitation and simultaneous criminalization of immigrants, and the giveaway of public assets to the rich, at the expense of the poor, in much the same manner that the World Bank and IMF wrong the poor people of the world. They will wine and dine in some of the most exclusive bars, hotels, and restaurants the world has to offer. They will schmooze with international delegates, roam District streets, and rest in the lap of luxury.
Where will they do this? Georgetown.
Georgetown, Washington's seat of power, is a playground for the rich. Its residents possess enormous wealth at the expense of the poor majority who live so close to them. They live so close, yet a world away, hidden in plain sight.
Georgetown embodies neoliberalism. Georgetown is neoliberalism.
Georgetown and the World Bank Steal From the Poor.
Earlier this year, the Georgetown Public Library was largely destroyed by fire in a freak accident. In a city where 4 other libraries, primarily located in communities of color, have been closed for over 3 years (most were closed in violation of the law, and without any community input), one might think that rebuilding the library would take years. However, the very next day, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, backed by the DC City Council, announced the Georgetown Library would promptly be rebuilt. Effort and money have already been allocated for the reconstruction of the Georgetown library and reconstruction will soon be underway.
Meanwhile, the Benning Library and Anacostia Library (both east of the Anacostia River, where both of DC's two poorest wards are located) remain closed and their communities have only recently received interim library services. The Shaw library, in a neighborhood rapidly undergoing gentrification, has been graced by a bookmobile, nearly one one-hundredth the size of the original building.
In an equally egregious slap in the face to colonized DC residents, the World Bank and IMF don't pay a cent in property taxes to the District, nor do they contribute any payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) to an already underfunded District government.
Georgetown is an exclusive, racist, white oasis in a city that's predominately people of color.
In 2006, a white man was killed in Georgetown and MPD arrested two people of color. The 2nd District Commander of the Metropolitan Police Department, Andrew Solberg, had this to say in response to the killing in Georgetown:
"I would think that at 2 a.m. on the streets of Georgetown, a group of three people, one of whom is 15-years-old, one of whom is a bald chunky fat guy, are going to stand out. They were black. This is not a racial thing to say that black people are unusual in Georgetown. This is a fact of life."This unabashed racism prompted the Washington City Paper to write the Black Guide to Georgetown - a worthy read.
The World Bank Works, Meets, and Sleeps in Georgetown!
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector wing of the World Bank Group, has 'clients' located within Georgetown proper. The IFC serves to provide loans to corporations for the purposes of setting up shop in developing countries. Many recipients of IFC loans reside in Georgetown.
Georgetown will also play host to thousands of delegates sleeping in their hotels and partying in exclusive nightclubs with guest lists that don't allow the general public in. They will join the same people who wreak havoc on DC by building condominiums in place of torn-down public housing, shutting down our only public hospital, closing our schools and giving property away to greedy developers; local gentrifiers, congressmen, senators, and DC government administrators who call Georgetown home.
This is the place to strike!
Neoliberalism is thriving in DC and around the world. When global financial players converge in DC in October, we must stop all those who seek to put profit and greed before human need. We must show our opposition to their policies of greed, death, and destruction!
This is the time to strike!
Join us, Friday October 19, at 9pm in Washington Circle as we march on Georgetown and bring our demands to a place where they can't be ignored; to their exclusive bars, to their decadent restaurants, to their lavish yachts, and to their silk-lined bedsheets.
This will be a rowdy march, and the coalition embraces a diversity of tactics. Please plan accordingly.
As the days get closer, we will release information on the whereabouts of delegates and gentrifiers alike. Join us and let's make history!
Communities east of the river: http://www.city-data.com/zips/20020.html