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

On the morning of 16 April, early morning blockades, like the one above, prevented hundreds of delegates from attending the meetings

 

People, not profit was a rallying cry. Above a mattress in the middle of an intersection and in the background yarn was strung in spider                              webs to prevent access to the meetings.

 

Some of the demonstrators joined themselves together with kryptonite bicycle locks

 

Huge puppet with timely message

 

The black bloc with another interpretation for the IMF acronym

 

A delegate headed toward the meetings was flanked by protesters

 

Indigenous rights activists marched on the Colombian Embassy protesting illegal oil drilling in U’wa territory

 

Yasuni park lies within the moist forest ecosystem of Amazonian Ecuador and is primarily rainforest

 

El Salvador’s Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional, FMLN was represented in the protests

 

Another intersection locked down

 

 

Riot police and armored vehicles were sent in to quell the protests

 

 

These protesters have a different understanding of the police

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

Protester cuts the barricade at the WTO protests in Cancún, Mexico in 2003

 

 

Please also see my Photo Essay on Globalization Issues