IMF and World Bank Meetings Cancelled: What Next for Their Critics?


| September 24, 2001


IMF and World Bank Meetings Cancelled:What Next for Their Critics?

In the wake of September 11, the IMF-World Bank meeting this weekend in Washington has been cancelled, and the movement opposing it is in limbo.

'I know that one part of the deep mourning I feel is for the global justice movements as they were before those planes crashed into the Twin Towers: steadily growing in scope and influence, increasingly occupying a central place on the global stage,' writes L.A. Kauffman in AlterNet. 'We were blown off that stage on September 11, and the context for our ongoing activism is now utterly transformed.'

Now, she notes, 'So much is inappropriate now that just one week ago made political sense.' Anti-globalization forces had planned a series of demonstrations in Washington this weekend that were unprecedented in its scope and intensity. The AFL-CIO had committed massive amounts of resources to the event, and thousands of people from faith-based and non-governmental organizations were planning to participate. Organizers were even prepared to allow 'diverse tactics,' including a more confrontational approach to security forces and property destruction.

Such tactics are clearly out of the question now, Kauffman notes, '. . . especially in New York and Washington, where the sound of breaking glass connotes death and devastation, and the masked uniform of the Black Bloc will only inspire fear.'

So how will the movement deliver a still-necessary critique of global capitalism without seeming to justify the atrocities of September 11? The answer is being played out all over the country, she says, in an upsurge of peace actions ranging from anti-racist teams to antiwar teach-ins. 'Our movements vision of global justice is needed now more than ever; we will simply need to take great care in presenting that vision in a way people can hear.'
--Craig Cox
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