Protest crackdown

The anti-globalization movement’s tactic of blockading economic summits is causing more and more of a stir.

In May the World Bank cancelled its 2001 Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics in Barcelona scheduled for 25-27 June because it feared disruption by protesters. The World Bank described the protests as a threat to academic freedom to discuss ideas. The Co-ordination Commission of the protesters responded: ‘They, who have at their disposal the resources of the planet, complain that those who have nothing wanted to have their voice heard.’

Meanwhile, over 100,000 people – including union members, debt campaigners and farmers – are expected to demonstrate outside the G8 meeting between 20 and 22 July in Genoa, Italy. Some are concerned by the extremist label that is being attached to them. With the new Italian right-wing administration headed by Silvio Berlusconi in place, this could be the most heated anti-globalization protest so far.

Meanwhile, in The Hague, the Netherlands police are organizing a conference between 3 and 5 October on ‘Maintaining public order’. In attendance will be members of national police forces from Europe, North America and Australia who will share tactics on how to police the kind of protests against economic summits that have erupted across the world in cities such as Seattle, Prague, Melbourne and Quebec.

New Internationalist issue 336 magazine cover This article is from the July 2001 issue of New Internationalist.
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