|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Protests at World Bank/IMF Meeting Quiet DownAired April 17, 2000 - 1:02 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Protests aimed at disrupting today's World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in the nation's capital are apparently not very successful. In fact, one of the meetings started two hours early.
CNN's Bob Franken joins us from Washington with the latest.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kyra.
And as the meetings go on, the protesters continue to roam the streets of Washington. In spite of a very heavy rain, as you can tell right now, there are probably 1,000 of them gathered at a corner near George Washington University just a few blocks from here.
As you can see, things are peaceful right now, a tense standoff between the protesters and a large, large group of police.
They are quiet now but that wasn't always so. Probably about an hour ago, things got out of hand as a matter of fact. There was some pushing and shoving. You can see that the police officers there were spraying pepper gas and moving back, things simmered down, as we saw, with the pepper gas flying and now things are quiet.
One of the worst confrontations came exactly where we are, as a matter of fact, first thing this morning when the police tried to drive a convoy through the barriers right here. The demonstrators tried to block the convoy. Police fired tear gas.
Now they have said since then they intended to fire smoke bombs, but instead they did fire tear gas at the demonstrators. It got a little bit raucous, one person tried to throw himself in front of a car and was arrested. You can see one person here who was hit with tear gas or pepper gas, one of the two, and somebody is trying to help him wash his eyes out, which is exactly what you should do if you ever do get hit with that.
Now all of these sporadic incidents have really overshadowed the reason that the demonstrators are here. And that is to protest the lending policies of the World Bank and IMF. They complain that in fact those policies promote the good of corporations and the power structure but actually harm the poor and developing countries and actually hurt the environment. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're all anti-World Bank and IMF and that issue is incorporated with so many other issues and that is why you're seeing all these different causes here today.
There's a whole other world out there. That is not -- not in the mainstream media and you don't usually hear about it. Nobody wants people to hear about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKEN: The stated purpose of the demonstrators was to stop the meetings as you said, Kyra, they have not done that. World Bank finance ministers are meeting at this hour. They are discussing reforms although the demonstrators say what's on the table falls far short of what would be required -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Bob, it's easy to take a side when looking at the video. But you're out there, you're getting a sense, are police and protesters playing fair? Are they both trying to de-escalate the potential for violence?
FRANKEN: Well, actually, no. In the case of the protesters, their purpose oftentimes is to roam around and to bring on confrontations with the police. They make no bones about that. It is same tactic they used in Seattle. The police feel that all they're doing is operating defensively, although many of the protesters say, that in fact the police oftentimes have been too aggressive. But what we really ended up with right now, as you can see, is a standoff. Protesters and police just glaring at each other near the campus of George Washington University -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Bob Franken, live in Washington, thanks.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.