On 16 April 2000, over 20,000 anti-corporate globalization activists greeted the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on the early morning streets of Washington, DC during their annual spring meetings. Demonstrators locked down in intersections and blockaded many parts of the city.
The World Bank and IMF, two of the most powerful financial institutions in the world, created in 1944, are blamed by people in the Global South and elsewhere for destructive programs that have impoverished millions and caused massive environmental destruction.
This was a heady time for the anti-globalization movement with this protest occurring only three and a half months after the dramatic “Battle of Seattle” where activists shut down the World Trade Organization.
All photographs by Orin Langelle / Global Justice Ecology Project
UPDATE 18 APRIL 2022: For an oral history of A16 in Crimethinc.com, see the recently published article More World, Less Bank. The article features five of my photos from below and the one right after this paragraph as the banner.
–glob·al·i·za·tion noun glō-bə-lə-ˈzā-shən
Definition of GLOBALIZATION: the act or process of globalizing : the state of being globalized; especially : the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets–from Merriam-Webster
Much more deserves to and has been said. For certain, globalization is enabling some people to become vastly richer while many more are made poorer. Under globalization, not only are people are being exploited; they are losing their lands and often their entire communities while the resources they depend on are stolen and exported–often irreversibly depleted from the Earth–contributing to climate change and in turn threatening all life support systems on this planet. – Orin Langelle
Please also see my Photo Essay on Globalization Issues