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Global Day of Action at Its Dawn


Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Prague -- Several thousand people from all around the globe have gathered in Prague to follow the call of the Initiative Against Economic Globalization (INPEG) for today's action against the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank. Although the organizers have been announcing the non-violent character of the actions around the meeting, all demonstrations have been banned and forbidden by the Czech authorities. Excessive police violence was reported during the arrest of three activists after dropping banners from Nuselky Most, the bridge leading to the Congress Center. "We condemn this attempt of the Czech government to prevent people from exercising their democratic rights to freedom of speech, movement and gathering," says INPEG Spokeswoman Alice Dvorska. "However, despite the attempts of the government to criminalize the movement and to prevent entry of activists into the Czech Republic, we uphold our demands for a legal demonstration towards the Congress Center. We will initiate the march although it is forbidden, as we see this as exercising our citizens' rights."

INPEG has called to actions aiming at disrupting the IMF and World Bank meeting as much as possible. This shall be achieved by various, autonomous non-violent direct actions around the city beginning in the early morning and one march starting at Namesti Miru at 9 a.m. The march is supposed to start at 11 a.m. The march will split at several strategic points, aiming at getting a number of marches to surround the Congress Center. This will be backed by additional marches approaching the Congress Center from the south. The different marches are supposed to begin with the blockade of the Congress Center at around 1 p.m. preventing the delegates from leaving the building. Within the last week, activists from dozens of countries have been preparing their actions in workshops and at the INPEG convergence center. "We hope to create an atmosphere of carnival throughout the city. Our aim is to allow different groups their own form of expressing their protest, resulting in a spirit of unity respecting diversity," says Alice Dvorska.

Various groups all around the world have answered the call for a global day of action against capitalism, and have announced to organize solidarity actions in their countries. Activities against the IMF and the World Bank are supposedly taking place in more than 40 countries in solidarity with the Prague protestors today. "The fact that people all around the globe are organizing solidarity activities with us here in Prague shows that more and more people are fed up with the policies of the IMF and the World Bank," says Dvorska. "The global character of the movement is extremely important to us and makes the message of the people very clear: 'Get out of this planet IMF and World Bank, you have caused enough harm in the past 56 years, so vanish from existence,'" concludes Alice Dvorska.