Join 3,556 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The street where my office is
September 26, 2002 6:15 AM   Subscribe

The street where my office is will most likely be fenced off and guarded by police when I roll in tomorrow morning. Conventional wisdom in D.C. for tomorrow is: a) Don't try to drive b) Don't try to take the Metro, either. Great.
posted by GriffX (76 comments total)

 
There's obviously only one solution: Fly to work.
posted by Apoch at 6:26 AM on September 26, 2002


GriffX, my office on 15th/K is being shut down completely tomorrow. I'm going to get up and come downtown to see what there is to see.
posted by pjgulliver at 6:30 AM on September 26, 2002


Living and working in the District can bring fun and excitement...

Three or four years ago, the 50th anniversary of NATO led to celebrations downtown. I had planned to take a day off to head to a kite festival in Ocean City, and happily, got a free day off without using any leave because our offices were shut down for security reasons.

Two years ago, my building was outside the zone designated as Dangerous for the IMF protests. The evening of the first day of the protests, I was watching TV and saw a piece about rioters lifting material from a construction site to use in their skirmishes with the police in their riot gear, and was startled to recognize that the construction site was cater-corner to my office building. The next business day we got a Riot Day -- sort of like a snow day, but more fun to tell your friends about.

Alas, now that I work in the Federal Southwest Ghetto, far from the Corridors of Power, I have no chance of getting off work for free tomorrow. A pity, really.
posted by jburka at 6:40 AM on September 26, 2002


Most people in DC feel the same. Its entertainment and a break from the normal routine but who cares about the message. Why are they protesting again?
posted by stbalbach at 6:40 AM on September 26, 2002


I'm at 19th and L St. NW. I'm going to work at home. And I haven't heard anything about avoiding the Metro. I hear lots of people telling us to take the Metro.

But then it's probably going to rain today and tomorrow, so that'll probably keep crowds down. And fears about protests are *generally* over blown.

I expect the crowds to be more rambunctious on Saturday. Should we start a thread on the protests themselves?

Oh, and I find it very amusing that some companies are giving their employees *permission* to take a vacation day. Very thoughtful. Do I need permission? How about encouraging people to work at home if possible?
posted by Red58 at 6:44 AM on September 26, 2002


Ah yes, the protests of wealthy East Coast college students. against globalization. I wonder how many of them could define globalization and what they are against in it. Yet alone proposing an alternative.
posted by pjgulliver at 6:46 AM on September 26, 2002


I usually pay little mind to the Post's Metro columnists, but Marc Fisher made a bit of sense on the subject this morning.
posted by dfowler at 6:50 AM on September 26, 2002


Yep, as usual the peons (like my husband and numerous friends) are going to have to take a precious vacation day or leave without pay and the big shots will get police protection or just get to write the day off. Not to mention all the hot dog vendors and immigrant deli owners who are going to take a financial hit.

As usual, DC gets no respect. People live here, dammit!
posted by JoanArkham at 6:51 AM on September 26, 2002


Despite the fact that many don't know what they're protesting, the protestors points are still valid. Read Globalization and Its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz. I think it presents a very balanced perspective of globalization, the IMF, and the World Bank. In balance, I think the protestors are correct, even if the details are missing and their answers are too vague.
posted by Red58 at 6:56 AM on September 26, 2002


On posting, I feel obliged to add that many (most?) of the protestors are going to be non-violent and I actually agree with some of what they are saying. But I think too many of them are "dismissing" the violent fringe groups with a wink.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:56 AM on September 26, 2002


I would think that large protests would be good for the hot dog vendor business.... but perhaps that's not where the tastes of wealthy east coast college students lie. What are they protesting again?
posted by spilon at 7:00 AM on September 26, 2002


Despite the fact that many don't know what they're protesting, the protestors points are still valid.

I'll have to tell my wife this! Even thought I don't know what I'm talking about, I can still be right!
posted by dirt at 7:10 AM on September 26, 2002


One of the protesters' threats is that they'll somehow close down the Beltway. They've obviously never seen the road rage around here: "Honey, what was that bumping sound?"
posted by Phaedrus at 7:16 AM on September 26, 2002


Infoshop.org has a list of suggested targets ("For educational and entertainment purposes only" --- when anti-abortionists do this, it's hate-crime/terrorism, isn't it?) Unfortunately, three of the targets on the list are in the same building my wife works in.

Everyone there will be telecommuting tomorrow.
posted by crunchland at 7:20 AM on September 26, 2002


15th and H NW here; I'm staying the hell home.
posted by Sapphireblue at 7:31 AM on September 26, 2002


When You Overturn The Hyundai At Tonight's Race Riot, Make Sure Chicks Are Watching!

I always thought that rioting in the G-7 was a cool alternative to skateboarding. More adrenaline, with more or less the same risks.
posted by falameufilho at 7:33 AM on September 26, 2002


My office is closed tomorrow, being that we're a block from the World Bank... You go, young anarchists!

Honestly, though, I'm not sure if there's ever been a less effective protest movement than this crowd.

Their message always gets lost with their clownish, over-the-top antics. Here in DC, there are big demonstrations several times every month for countless issues... None seem to spark the nearly universal ridicule and mockery that the IMF protestors. It's a shame, because I think they have some very valid concerns and issues. Those issues get lost amidst all the hijynks and the story in the news is about the protesters themselves, not their concerns... But, sadly, it's as if that's the way they want it.
posted by crookdimwit at 7:41 AM on September 26, 2002


Nothing drives me more nuts than some poseur coolchild protesting just to be hip and who cannot articulate w intelligence what they stand for -- but it's not fair to dismiss this as nothing more than that. There are some smart people with their heads on straight involved in this, and asking important questions about the way that institutions like the WTO and IMF do business, and making concrete reform proposals.

I would argue there are problems with the way we're managing globalization (look at development in the third world, or the way the US continues to subsidize its own agriculture sector while browbeating other countries to drop such programs as anti-free-trade). And I so support "reformist" efforts (vs. the "globapholics" who are simply anti-globalization (and therefore imo in left field).

And while street protests such as this do not necessarily inform the policy agenda -- they definitely have a role to play. They raise public attention to the issues, and also prompt more substantive discussions in other venues as public officials seek to respond.

Crookdimwit -- I agree with some of what you say, but also think that we've become jaded in the U.S. to this sort of thing and tend (myself included) to just view any protest with suspicion and dismissal. They simply don't have the impact they used to, because we're used to them. This is more true in DC than elsewhere...
posted by Kneebiter at 7:46 AM on September 26, 2002


Oh no. You mean you guys can't go about your day today because people are exercising their right to protest the subservience and abuse of people around the world by corporations chasing a buck? Clearly, they should think of your parking privileges.

You're in DC. Deal with it.
posted by mortimer at 7:48 AM on September 26, 2002


Mortimer, there is nothing wrong with protests per se. And they are one of the reasons I live in DC, to be at the center of political activity. But I do think there is something wrong with a mass protest that aims to shut down employment in a city for a given day. This seriously affects peoples lives, and the bulk of the people it affects have nothing to do with the supposed abuses of the World Bank, IMF, or Federal government. Have a protest. Have 20,000 walking the streets shouting. But don't attempt to shut down my streets, baricade my restaraunts, and destroy my property. What's the point in that?
posted by pjgulliver at 7:58 AM on September 26, 2002


I got a twenty dollar bill yesterday that had a phrase written on it saying something to the effect of using it to destroy capitalism. My grandmother was nearby and we both a grand laugh. I love my grandmother.
posted by trioperative at 8:02 AM on September 26, 2002


Great first post, mortimer. Way to ingratiate yourself to the community. A community based on opinion and expression. One that appreciates dissent and differences as long as one actually participates in a discussion and doesn't just throw stones and call names. In other words, if you can't play nice, don't play.

I agree with many of the points the protestors have, but their methods leave a lot to be desired. If you want people to see your point try not busting up their neighborhoods.

As for your "just deal with it" comment, mortimer, the protestors coming in and disrupting commutes means that many people will have to take unpaid leave or vacation time. Contrary to what you may believe, not everyone in DC is a rich congressman. Real people live here.
posted by terrapin at 8:10 AM on September 26, 2002


I mean, whatever you got, I'm sure there'll be a protester against it in residence tomorrow. "Free Mumia"? Check. "Down With Capitalism"? Check. "Dude, The United States Is, Like Just Not As Cool As All The Ethnic Countries That Have Quaint Native Drum Circles And Weave Traditional Hemp Jewelry"? Check. Soon, all these well-organized and co-ordinated protest groups will have to form a multi-national conglomerate called Dissent "R" Us ®. Then they'll organize a huge, city-clogging protest against themselves and dissappear in a puff of logic.
posted by evanizer at 8:16 AM on September 26, 2002


hmmmmmmm, the more outlandish and photo-friendly an event the more newsworthy it is. the more newsworthy it is the more it gets on the news. the more it gets on the news the more people will hear about it and have the chance to think about it and maybe even talk about it at the watercooler or out on the porch.

maybe we live in age where he who controls the media controls conversation. people must talk and debate about something before it will even get on the "agenda". how in heck can anything big happen without the help of the media? How can a group without signifigant funds enlist the media in their cause? make a big, noisy, photo-friendly event which the media will cover. makes sense to me.
posted by chris0495 at 8:18 AM on September 26, 2002


Honestly, though, I'm not sure if there's ever been a less effective protest movement than this crowd.

You should've been to one of the "Lower the Vote" protests on Election Day 2000, against the voting age. Talk about ineffective. I think the strongest response we provoked at the one in Raleigh was an outraged older woman who shouted, "You don't understand what this country is based on! I know what America is about -- I'm a genealogist!"
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:19 AM on September 26, 2002


I've been in several protests in my day, and we made the news without smashing anything up or trying to shut down the city.

*shaking my cane in the air*
posted by JoanArkham at 8:27 AM on September 26, 2002


they are tearing down factories near where i live.
posted by clavdivs at 8:32 AM on September 26, 2002


The first rule of the oldest science is this: Men feel more intensely what effects them directly than what effects them indirectly through others. Hence, the outrage of hourly workers whose check will be one day light. The fact that the "fat cats" will be able to skip work but still get paid for the day highlights the disparity between those who work and those who own.

Capitalism is the American religion. It is so ingrained in our culture that any criticism of it leads to shouts of "stupid communist" or "socialist frog! Go live in France." When you're critiqueing the sacred any action, any word will incite automatic dismissal or intense ridicule.
posted by chris0495 at 9:00 AM on September 26, 2002


You wanna ask people to strike in support of your cause? Have at it.

You wanna force people to miss work against their will and regardless of their needs because of your cause? Fuck you, you're just another fascist trying to force your mode of thought on others who are freer without you.

"Hippies, dirty hippies, they try to save the world, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad."
posted by NortonDC at 9:04 AM on September 26, 2002


MORTIMER! Thank you so much for keeping it simple. You're absolutely correct. I happen to be a DC resident (16th & S, NW) and I'm happy to take a vacation day for a good cause. Yes, some of the tactics are a bit uncalled-for, but the truth of the matter is they have a right to do it.

When these BS diplomats, politicians, and rich, I-could-give-a-heck-about-DC celebrities come and demand to shut down hotels, streets, nightclubs, etc. no one says anything. No media attention and no complaining here.

Mortimer's right. If you live in DC, deal with it! It's one flippin' day! And honestly, if you took a minute to drive back into the city from your "suburban communities", you can see for yourself that some of these protest causes are warranted.

For the record, I'm a native of DC. And I'm taking off work and will be there to at least listen to what they have to say and not dangle of the "tit" of the Post.

AGGHH
posted by Aloe23 at 9:07 AM on September 26, 2002


who wants to force people to miss work?
posted by chris0495 at 9:09 AM on September 26, 2002


That's the whole plan of the protests Chris, to shut down downtown DC, making it impossible to conduct business.

And the truth of the matter Aloe is they don't have a right to disrupt other peoples business. 1st amendment gives you a right to air grevances publically (petition the government) but not to destroy private property, shut down public roads without permission, or disrupt the normal conduct of commerce.
posted by pjgulliver at 9:16 AM on September 26, 2002


Obviously, these chappies have a right to protest, whether we agree with them or not. As a D.C. resident, though, you can't help but feel about them the same way you feel about tourists the other 360 or so days a year. Get the hell out of my way. Only it's magnified by a factor of seven.

That's right. Seven.

(So nice to see my blogging buddies popping up on MeFi!)
posted by NedKoppel at 9:18 AM on September 26, 2002


My favorite scene of the April 2000 World Bank/IMF protests: because of all the streets fenced off/blockaded/guarded by lines of mounted police whose steeds were crapping everywhere, anyone leaving the protests along the Mall and heading toward Dupont Circle had to detour through the George Washington University campus in Foggy Bottom. Along the way one had to pass by a group of fraternities, one of which, featuring banners like "Love It Or Leave It, Hippies" and groups of shirtless boys with backwards baseball caps drinking Bud, was blasting Rage Against the Machine from the top floor.

Sweet, nourishing irony.
posted by mookieproof at 9:18 AM on September 26, 2002


Wow, mookieproof that's like, 3 levels of irony.

I like to think of myself as a good liberal. Really. But look at it this way: anti-abortion activists think they are doing good by blocking clinics. The IMF protestors think they are doing good by blocking these meetings. I empathize with their desire to make a difference, but detest their methods. Doesn't "right to assemble" apply to everyone?
posted by JoanArkham at 9:24 AM on September 26, 2002


hmmmmmmm, the more outlandish and photo-friendly an event the more newsworthy it is. the more newsworthy it is the more it gets on the news. the more it gets on the news the more people will hear about it and have the chance to think about it and maybe even talk about it at the watercooler or out on the porch.

"Did you see those big puppets on the news last night?"
"Yeah. Those were some big puppets. I think I saw some guys in Papier Mache heads too."
"What was that all about anyway?"
"Dunno. Globalization or something. The whole thing was totally incoherent."
"Yeah. Those puppets sure were big. So who do you think Rachel's gonna marry?"
"Ross. Definitely Ross."
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:43 AM on September 26, 2002


"Doesn't "right to assemble" apply to everyone?"

No.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Once the assembly is no longer peaceable, you're no longer covered by the First Amendment.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:52 AM on September 26, 2002


When the police in riot gear start putting the smack down and using pepper spray like like it was air freshener, it makes it difficult to peaceably assemble.
posted by euphorb at 9:59 AM on September 26, 2002


Ah, I wish I was still in DC so I could lead a demonstration in front of the IMC headquarters and other places where the imported touron-protesters are staying to block them from getting out to block anyone else. How much fun would that be?

"Hey man, we're just exercising our right to peacefully assemble ourselves together with chains here in your doorway."
posted by rusty at 10:00 AM on September 26, 2002


the plan of the protestors? It's a disparate movement made up of desperate people. Whatever the newspaper headline says, there is no central plan because there is no central command.

Either you want to shut down the capitol or you want to let people go to work! Or maybe you want to voice your opinion and some of the other people that want to voice their opinion also want to shut down the capitol.

In other words, if the hundred different interests represented by the 1,000 different groups can't agree on one certain way to protest then every potential protestor must not protest. That doesn't work for me. How in hell is chaos supposed to be organized?
posted by chris0495 at 10:05 AM on September 26, 2002


I'm looking forward to seeing some of the protestors getting beat down.

And mortimer, go ____ yourself.
posted by Witty at 10:28 AM on September 26, 2002


I hope it rains constantly from Thursday night through Sunday. If people want to shut down the beltway and hamper my commute, I better at least get some good news footage of waterlogged neo-hippies dodging SUV's. Also, if they would like to hamper the efforts of large global corporations, shouldn't they try to block the Dulles Toll Road?
posted by Mushkelley at 10:36 AM on September 26, 2002


I think the IMF and World Bank should have been required to hold it's meeting in Argentina.
posted by dglynn at 10:46 AM on September 26, 2002


Aloe23: I happen to be a DC resident (16th & S, NW) and I'm happy to take a vacation day for a good cause.

Me too. But fuck taking a vacation day so a bunch of spoiled brats can run around and break windows. And this is what we're talking about here.

As was pointed out above, there are protests in DC all the time. For every cause and every protest except the IMF/World Bank ones, working DC and the protesters co-exist without a problem. We would love to do the same with the anti-globalization kiddies, but they come with the express intention of disruption and destruction. That's not a good cause, I'm sorry---that's a bunch of people who didn't get enough attention from their mommies and daddies during their formative years.

While we're at it, how about you watch your totally baseless generalizations about suburbanites. I know a bunch of the folks posting in this thread, and there's quite a lot of us who live in the city---even, *gasp*, parts that aren't NW! Please, spare us the keeping-it-real crap.

(Also: sorry about your dangling tits, that sounds really uncomfortable.)
posted by Sapphireblue at 11:00 AM on September 26, 2002


I'm not any wild fan of "neo-hippies" at all (and it's telling that the wide assumption is that everyone who might attend this protest is a wooly pot-smoking idiot), but this is getting a bit thick in here. Witty is looking forward to people getting beat up and is telling people to go fuck themselves (but really politely what with the blank and all). Evanizer doesn't even have a point, other than demonstrating that he is way too cool to protest things. NortonDC is equating nonviolent civil disobedience with fascism. Jesus Christ.
posted by Skot at 11:03 AM on September 26, 2002


I agree partially with the beat-down statement because some behaviors of the young protesters are way out of control. However, there are many smaller community-based groups who participate, rally, and speak during this protest and those are the people I support. Contrary to the Post, there are responsible, functional adults who just want to be heard....not tear up DC and disrupt business.


It's just all the typical whining from people who live in DC that pisses me off. Most of DC's current residents, 20-30(especially NW), are not natives of The District. And they complain constantly about being "inconvenienced". Heck, if I took that approach, I should complain about being INCONVENIENCED by the slutbag interns in government agencies and non profits or INCONVENIENCED by the suburbanites who can't hold their liquor and have barfights in downtown nightclubs.

Oh! And I can have a pukefest thinking about those blasted party animals.

This protest will happen whether we want it to or not but I can respect differences of opinion.
posted by Aloe23 at 11:06 AM on September 26, 2002


Aloe, why don't you grow up. Ohhh 16th/S, what do you live in, the Chastleton? I can see you're really at one with the people of DC, not smack dab in the middle of extremely gentrified and yuppified Dupont East. And refering to people who work in the city and bring it needed income and vitality as "slutbags" is a winning and mature way to argue. Good job.
posted by pjgulliver at 11:20 AM on September 26, 2002


...typical whining from people who live in DC...

You don't HAVE to live IN the District to be PART of the District. The metropolitan area damn near stretches all the way to Stafford on the VA side. We're all one big happy family. If the flow of the beltway is threatened, that encompasses FAR more people and places than just D.C.

Mortimer's comment is insulting. He/she doesn't even live here and therefore he/she has no justification for commenting on how WE should behave or what our attitudes should be. It's like telling people in CA to shut up about earthquakes or New Yorkers to hush up about terrorist attacks, Nebraskans to zip it about the tornadoes.

Yea, we have protests and gatherings all the time... sure. We understand that. But it doesn't take away from how inconvenient it can be to carry on with daily life. The difference about this protest is that we know it's coming. There are PLENTY of times when a few thousand people virtually shut down a portion of the city and you had no idea it was going to happen, what the hell they're doing there or when it will stop. Finding out about it trapped in gridlock on your way home is no fun.

So telling me to deal with it means what? As if I don't deal with it. Yea, he/she can go _____ themselves.
posted by Witty at 11:30 AM on September 26, 2002


I would have taken the "No War Against Iraq" protestors I saw outside the White House this weekend more seriously if they weren't giggling between every line of their "One, two, three four / We don't want your daddy's war" chants. Something tells me that same "Oh boy! We're protesting! It's, like, so much fun!" mindset is more prevalent among the demonstrators than they'd like to admit.
posted by dayvin at 11:34 AM on September 26, 2002


Although I don't totally agree with you, well said Witty.

PJGulliver, it's really okay if you don't live in "yuppiefied Dupont East". Sounds like you've got your panties in a bunch. And I was referring to and about DC (NW, NE, SW, SE) residents. Not folks in the burbs.

And obviously, you have not come to really know correction: SOME of Washington's finest - interns. I think my term was perfectly applicable to whom I was speaking of.

For your information, I'm a homeowner on 16th and S, not in the Chastleton.
posted by Aloe23 at 12:06 PM on September 26, 2002


OK, so protesting in the streets is embarrasing? It would be a lot more dignified is we were to all just accept what the corrupt corporate execs from the white house on down are setting us all up for? hmmmm....

As for the beat-down crew, when they run out of naive college kidz and dirty hippies to beat on... are you next on the list? or me?
posted by dorcas at 12:19 PM on September 26, 2002


I live two blocks away from the main World Bank building. I knew when I moved here that there would be protests and occasional disruptions, which is fine. The demonstrators have perfectly legitimate first amendment rights.

What is not fine is the anti-globalist graffiti that ends up everywhere. Some people think that they're promoting awareness, but they aren't going to be the people who are going to have to clean it up. Chalk is a lot less annoying.

Some things also go beyond just being inconveniences. I had trouble getting to the hospital for anemia treatment because protesters forming a human chain in front of my building wouldn't let me cross the street. I had expected chanting and drums, but I didn't expect to have my freedom of movement restricted by people who are protesting for the freedom of oppressed people. Although, after about 5 minutes of reasoning I was allowed through.

Also, the DC police have a tendency to arrest large groups walking around on days without permits for protests. So if you're planning on coming into town to have a look, be careful.
posted by Alison at 12:24 PM on September 26, 2002


Skot - NortonDC is equating nonviolent civil disobedience with fascism.

Holding an entire city hostage is non-violent? Guess again.

I am equating holding a city hostage, against the will of it's residents, to fascism. Look it up. Definition two: "a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control."

Feel that sting? That's the truth. It's good for you.
posted by NortonDC at 12:25 PM on September 26, 2002


Aloe23 - Most of DC's current residents, 20-30(especially NW), are not natives of The District.

Really? I am a 30-year-old DC-born native who has lived and worked in the city and it's region ever since.
posted by NortonDC at 12:25 PM on September 26, 2002


Dictio--wha? What is this strange tool of which you speak?

Thanks for the helpful hint! And also the stinging, stinging "truth!" Funny. It actually stings like the burning whiff of bullshit.

You're a riot. These autocratic, dictatorial bastards--who as a whole cannot even portray the semblence of a united front-- are engaging in dissent, protest and civil disobedience for a couple of days and you would have them as a tightly organized army bent on total smackdown. Yes, there will be bands of idiots who break the law and step on people's toes. Sort of like a rock concert or the Fourth of July. Your rhetoric is ridiculous, and I suspect it's mostly borne of opposing political ideology rather than actual righteous condemnation of what are by now pretty familiar protest tactics.
posted by Skot at 12:42 PM on September 26, 2002


Aloe, I'm only sorry I stooped to your level of argument in my response. This was supposed to be a discussion about the relative merits of mass civil disobediance that effects far more than the intended targets. You shifted the conversation to name-calling and I obliged by following you. For that, you have my apologies everyone. I realize Aloe is nothing but a troll.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:50 PM on September 26, 2002


Don't worry dorcas, there will be plenty of naive college kidz and dirty hippies to beat on. It's not that I'm for a violent outcome to this protest. I'm just sick of seeing people justify destroying my city for nothing more than kicks and something to giggle about later over a couple of bonghits. Eff 'em. Hog tie 'em and drag out by their ankles 'til their filthy beards are ground down to bloodied scruff.
posted by Witty at 12:52 PM on September 26, 2002


gee witty got those jack boots polished to a high gloss yet?

and what about those people destroying our world? Kinda sounds to me like you might be trying to justify them by ommitting any mention of the actual reason that all these people are gathering in YOUR CITY. (otherwise known as the capitol city of this great nation) something about corporate greed driven global domination, but what does that have to do with ME?
posted by dorcas at 1:00 PM on September 26, 2002


Witty: I'm looking forward to seeing some of the protestors getting beat down.

Witty: Don't worry dorcas, there will be plenty of naive college kidz and dirty hippies to beat on. It's not that I'm for a violent outcome to this protest. I'm just sick of seeing people justify destroying my city for nothing more than kicks and something to giggle about later over a couple of bonghits. Eff 'em. Hog tie 'em and drag out by their ankles 'til their filthy beards are ground down to bloodied scruff.


Absolutely contemptible. If you don't want a "violent outcome", then quit calling for violence. And one notes that you keep calling (from behind the comfort of your computer) for others to do your violent bidding. That's pretty cowardly.

pjgulliver: You shifted the conversation to name-calling and I obliged by following you. For that, you have my apologies everyone. I realize Aloe is nothing but a troll.

Wow. Apologizing for name-calling, then doing it again in the very next sentence. Congratulations. Should we believe there is anything sincere about your stance?

Holding an entire city hostage is non-violent? Guess again....I am equating holding a city hostage, against the will of it's residents, to fascism.

Oh, please. Let us know what the ransom demands are, will ya? And with what kinds of knots did the hostage-takers tie you up? And the whole city is hostage? Sheesh, where's Batman when ya need him....

Aloe23 - Most of DC's current residents, 20-30(especially NW), are not natives of The District.
NortonDC: Really? I am a 30-year-old DC-born native who has lived and worked in the city and it's region ever since.


Well, that settles it, then. NortonDC lives there, therefore most most of DC's residents ARE natives of the district.

Oh no. You mean you guys can't go about your day today because people are exercising their right to protest the subservience and abuse of people around the world by corporations chasing a buck? Clearly, they should think of your parking privileges.

~chuckle~

Well said. And note the outrage from those whose parking privileges *do* mean more to them than justice.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:09 PM on September 26, 2002


Dorcas... c'mon. Are we talking about WHAT they are protesting or the protest ITSELF?

And yes, it IS my city. I live here. Just like the street I live on is MY street. It is the capitol city of the greatest nation indeed. For those two reasons, I don't want to see it damaged and scarred in the name of some filthy protest. I don't have any issue with thousands of people coming here to state their case. But when the destruction starts, it's a whole new ball of wax at that point. The message is lost and it's all about who is left standing... and I will love when it's not the snot-nosed punks that break windows just because they can.

fold_and_mutilate: Haha.... what do you know about me and what I'm willing to do? I can throw a baseball from my desk and hit the spot where a lot of the protestors will be gathered. And I'm not calling for violence. But I expect a violent response to a violent approach. I'll see you there.
posted by Witty at 1:18 PM on September 26, 2002


Skot - Your rhetoric is ridiculous, and I suspect it's mostly borne of opposing political ideology rather than actual righteous condemnation of what are by now pretty familiar protest tactics.

Your ignorance is showing. Protestors do not as a matter of course target the beltway, which happens to lie outside the District.

The beltway is a horror show waiting to happen. Actually, it frequently loses its patience and does happen. Fucking with the beltway is a declaration that you are willing to trade the lives of others in exchange for 30 seconds of news coverage.

fold_and_mutilate - Their ransom demands will be made in the form of petulant demands that everyone else think and act their way on foreign economic policy. You think you're joking, but you're really just failing to understand that your joke describes the reality.
posted by NortonDC at 1:20 PM on September 26, 2002


It is terribly uninspired of these protestors to continue their siege tactics. They've already used the "riot to spread the word" now they should take a more effective/ intelligent approach. Stage a debate with the leading protestors (who likely have the firmest grasp of the reasons for the protest) vs. representatives of the IMF/Worldbank. It would be a huge story for the protestors to publicly swear off violence and ask for a forum of open debate on IMF/World bank policies, it would also come close to achieving one of their demands, of having open meetings. The protestors aren't going to stop the meetings they are protesting, they aren't going to advance their voice or strengthen their cause, they are only going to hurt local business and continue to be branded as ignorant trouble makers.
posted by Mushkelley at 1:25 PM on September 26, 2002


it would be a nice trick to seperate the protest itself from reasons for the protest, but what the hell for? Do you really believe that all of those people are going to DC cuz they like the smell of pepper spray and tear gas? The reality is that we are rapidly seeing the political and economic control of the entire bleeping world usurped by a bunch of power crazed baboons with the morals of a paramecieum. The message from on high is quite clear, either you're with us, or we'll drag you by the bloody beard stump into the nearest McPrison tm
also i haven't seen/read of any of the groups of protestors advocating violence... should the fact that a small number of testosterone laden punks are always drawn to such events invalidate the entire message. Why yes of course says National News Media... (sigh at least we have the BBC to tell us what actually happens in DC this week)
posted by dorcas at 1:38 PM on September 26, 2002


The protest overshadows the reasons for the protest. Even if that is just because the National Media has it's priorities screwed up. If the anti-globalization crowd wants people to see their side and get serious support for their movement, they have to separate from the protestors even if there are only a few bad apples. They can either play at the level of the "power crazed baboons" or they can forever wallow in the gutters outside their building as the news coverage cuts all thoughtful rallys in favor of police on protestor beatdowns. The Media is their tool, they need to use it to their best advantage, staging protests that are meant to be peaceful but undoubtedly won't end that way is just foolish. If you want to know what happens in D.C this week, I'm sure that any and all of these D.C Mefites will tell you what happens.
posted by Mushkelley at 1:47 PM on September 26, 2002


You guys are completely missing the point.

What's really important here is my parking space.

Now quit this bickering and get with the program.
posted by crunchland at 2:33 PM on September 26, 2002


Dorcas, yes, I agree, globalization is bad, hippies are good (hell, I have a ponytail). But I am no more (or less, I suppose) guilty of promoting the evil policies of the IMF than you are--I just happen to live in DC. But I, unlike you, won't be able to drive my car tomorrow. I won't be able to go pick up my daughter from her mother's house. I won't be able to go to the grocery store, or the doctor's office. Not because any of these places are near the World Bank, or the Capitol, or anywhere else related to the actual protest, but because the protestors have decided to blockade the beltway. OK, fine, I understand that their protest necessitates them being in the streets around certain buildings, in certain areas. Really, fine--part of living in DC is dealing with such things, also with motorcades, security fences, etc.

But the beltway has nothing to do with any of that, any more than your own street in New York or Iowa or Belgium does. The IMF folks aren’t going to be using it tomorrow, I assure you—they’ll be staying in posh hotels in the city. The beltway is for us working stiffs, the ones who won’t get paid tomorrow.

Let me propose this—if want to show solidarity with the protesters, if you truly believe that the cause is worth losing a day’s pay, then take what you earn tomorrow—all of it—and donate it to your favorite charity. Not in lieu of money you’d give anyway, no, but in addition. Find a worthy cause and give it all the money you’d make tomorrow. Also, to show that you are truly dedicated to the cause, go straight to work, and straight home afterwards, no stopping in at the store, no socializing. Run no errands, skip your doctor’s appointment.

Unless you’re willing to do all that, you have no cause to be critical of those of us who will be forced to do all of that tomorrow, for no other reason than we live in the same city as the World Bank.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:57 PM on September 26, 2002


Crap--I previewed, and didn't get all those damned boxes. Crap.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:58 PM on September 26, 2002


Jesus, I shoulda posted this a Fark for all the real discussion it generated.

Trashing a McDonald's won't hurt the McDonald's corporation, but it will hurt the workers who will no doubt become unemployed while the store is closed for renovation.

A former colleague of mine took great photo from his dorm room window at GWU back in 2000; a group of guys turning over somebody's car. Why? I dunno, and I'd guess that they couldn't tell you either, just like the guy in Seattle photographed smashing the front window of a Niketown store while wearing a pair of Nikes. They'd probably self-identify as 'anarchists', thus demonstrating that they have no concept of what anarchy actually is. These guys' actions are as political and justifiable as those at Woodstock 99.

I agree with much of what the protesters are saying, and am friends with a few of them - the protesters, that is, not the violent thugs. I don't advocate anybody getting the Chicago '68 treatment, but it's going to keep happening as long as the well-intentioned and well-educated members of the protest community turn a blind eye to the ignorant savages that have come along for the ride.

Finally, almost everyone I know who works in Foggy Bottom isn't pissed off about the protest itself; I for one was upset at the prospect of the 'activists' who are planning on shutting down the Metro system (god knows how) and have made it so I would have to wade through a crowd of potentially violent protesters and antsy, mass-arresting police and have to 'present my papers' just to get in the front door to my office (and me without any more vacation days, zippy).
posted by GriffX at 3:43 PM on September 26, 2002


Jesus, I shoulda posted this a Fark for all the real discussion it generated.

Gosh, thanks so much for coming to set us straight, Griff. Our hero.

I'm sure that any and all of these D.C Mefites will tell you what happens.

Thank you for saying so, while I was busy banging my head into my desk. Nice trick, to rant against media spoonfeeding and then turn right around and say "I know that MeFi has a pantload of DC residents who, being bloggy types, are apt to share their first-hand experiences at great length with all of us, but I'd rather get my information read to me off a TelePrompTer from some talking head on the other side of the globe"?

In addition to telling you what goes down tomorrow and Saturday, we can all tell you what's happened every time the anti-globalization kiddies have been here before. Maybe, just maybe, there's a reason so many of us will be taking to our secure, undisclosed locations tomorrow...? I promise it's got nothing to do with these people's cause. No more than breaking things and blocking traffic has to do with their cause. Food for thought, chew before you swallow.
posted by Sapphireblue at 4:35 PM on September 26, 2002


wow. we are so mature.
posted by oog at 5:21 PM on September 26, 2002


Sapphireblue - I wasn't trying to set anybody straight, I was pointing out that the thread quickly degenerated into a name-calling flame war. Why snark at me when I was trying to turn the conversation back to many of the points that you made in your second post?
posted by GriffX at 5:56 PM on September 26, 2002


I'm going out for a drink tomorrow. Fuck 'em.
posted by NortonDC at 6:29 PM on September 26, 2002


GriffX: You pointed out your point with a snark of your own... one that suggests you're better then everyone else.

Jesus, I shoulda posted this a Fark for all the real discussion it generated.

NortonDC: Where will you be... any idea?
posted by Witty at 9:26 AM on September 27, 2002


Knowing Norton, it'll be that place where a group of bloggers meets nearly every Friday. I may be there, myself. Want details? Email me.

By the way, I just got back from the "protest'' area. About 500 cops, 100 protesters. Pictures will be posted shortly. Much ado about nothing, really.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:37 AM on September 27, 2002


I took pictures, one of which includes a fellow MeFier not taking his proximity to the Chief of Police very seriously.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:29 AM on September 27, 2002


Bingo on the location.
posted by NortonDC at 12:37 PM on September 27, 2002


« Older Satire is alive and well? ...  |  NYC Subways and then some.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments