World Bank Essay, Research Paper
On Saturday, April 15, protesters gathered in Washington DC in opposition of the IMF and World Bank. The two institutions were to have their spring meeting this weekend and the approximately ten thousand protesters, whose main point is the elimination of poverty, paraded down the streets of DC The protesters feel that what the IMF and World Bank do not see the short term effects of their proposals for economic growth, which include unemployment and increased poverty. The protesters feel that the only people benefiting from such ideas are the large corporations. Fortunately, though many were arrested, none were seriously injured, as was the case with protesters in Seattle in November. This was due to the fact that the Washington police prepared well in advance, securing the appropriate buildings as well as purchasing new riot gear. This event is an example of a social movement. This was simply an organized group of people that gathered for the purpose of resisting change (In this case, the strategies discussed by the aforementioned institutions) through their collective action. Specifically, this type of social movement is called a resistance movement, because this group was in opposition to change of a certain aspect of our society. The main reason why activists gathered in protest on Saturday was to expose the World Bank and IMF practices and policies that the protesters believe have led to the degeneration of the environment and the social deprivation in the developing world. One protester was quoted “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” as she is a member of George Washington Students Against Sweatshops. However, as passionate as they were, few protesters actually got violent and many were arrested before anything erupted. The dominant emotion of the event was anger, but the people were not actively hostile. The crowd was simply voicing their opinion on the issues of globalization, and manifesting the potential repercussions that the actions of the two institutions may have. The emotions throughout the protest were definitely negative, but anger or frustration seemed to run consistently throughout. The event continues through Sunday afternoon, though consequences of the event thus far have been slight if any. Many people were arrested, the main charge being parading without a permit. The meeting between the World Band and the IMF was not even disturbed during the protest, as police had barricaded some fifty blocks around these buildings. The protesters in this case were rather non-violent in nature, and the police were quite peaceful when they did have to arrest someone. This protest was quite tame in comparison to the one in Seattle last November. I believe that this is due to the advanced planning of the police in securing the area before people even gathered to protest. I believe that the protester’s message has been heard through the large amount of publicity that they have received, and that has made the protest successful.