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Bang goes the whole shebang

Anti-globalization protesters have dogged meetings from Seattle to Prague in recent years and now threaten to turn Washington DC into a war zone at this year’s already curtailed IMF and World Bank meetings. Even some of the protest groups are getting scared about turning up. People are starting to feel that the meetings as we know them will soon be a thing of the past and are wondering what form they will take.

Charles Ramsey

"Explore the charming, tear gas-clogged alleys of the 'capital of the world', get stuck round the back of the White House in a turtle costume and cop a face full of pepper spray." This invitation is from the website of Urban 75, an e-zine that carries news of anti-capitalist protest events around the world. The occasion? This year's annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank.

The internet is buzzing with exhortations for protesters to converge on Washington DC and exercise their first-amendment rights. In the lead-up to the weekend of September 29 and 30, the city will once again fill with backpack and bongo-laden protesters making the most of their right to free speech.

The streets of Washington have seen many protests, from the civil rights marches of the 1960s and the anti-war demonstrations of the 1970s to the anti-globalization demonstrations of recent years.

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