Report on the May 22 Actions in Grand Rapids Against the IMF, WB, and WTO

Reprinted from Get Up (June 2000)

On May 22, Dr. John Paige, economist from the World Bank, came to Grand Rapids to educate us about the World Bank system and the consequences of those wayward demonstrators for democratic justice. So, we (Media Mouse with the support of local labor activists and others) organized a warm welcome for Dr. Paige.

Carrying on with their special interpretation of what’s appropriate, the University Club (Old Kent Bank Building), circulated pictures of the 5 April 17 arrestees and did a complete bomb search of the building (source of the info. works in the building). They too had their warm welcome for Dr. Paige.

Present at the Demonstration were clowns (“The IMF is a joke” and “The World Bank is clowning around”), Radical Cheerleaders (N-I-K-E what does that mean to me? Slave labor is no favor we’ve got to help our global neighbors), some theater (which corporation will give me the lowest bid for the day?), drummers, musicians, puppets, signs, banners, and a carnival game. A high school class came by to check out the activities as suggested by their teacher (yeah for teacher!) and about 25 friendly police officers (yes really).

Police had been bugging activists for over a week before the event, wanting an agenda or a promise of good behavior, or something like that. They went so far as to cornering a few of us in the Heartside Ministries parking lot for a good ol’ informal questioning the morning of May 22. Regardless, it was a festive atmosphere. Folks came from as far away as Detroit and Kalamazoo to take part. No civil disobedience was planned since the objective was education and awareness, not disrupting the meeting or gaining big time media attention. Finally I encourage you all to watch Dr. Paige’s lecture when it airs on GRTV so you too can be enlightened by his wisdom (for a few laughs).

On May 22, Dr. John Paige, economist from the World Bank, came to Grand Rapids to educate us about the World Bank system and the consequences of those wayward demonstrators for democratic justice. So, we (Media Mouse with the support of local labor activists and others) organized a warm welcome for Dr. Paige.

Carrying on with their special interpretation of what’s appropriate, the University Club (Old Kent Bank Building), circulated pictures of the 5 April 17 arrestees and did a complete bomb search of the building (source of the info. works in the building). They too had their warm welcome for Dr. Paige.

Present at the Demonstration were clowns (“The IMF is a joke” and “The World Bank is clowning around”), Radical Cheerleaders (N-I-K-E what does that mean to me? Slave labor is no favor we’ve got to help our global neighbors), some theater (which corporation will give me the lowest bid for the day?), drummers, musicians, puppets, signs, banners, and a carnival game. A high school class came by to check out the activities as suggested by their teacher (yeah for teacher!) and about 25 friendly police officers (yes really).

Police had been bugging activists for over a week before the event, wanting an agenda or a promise of good behavior, or something like that. They went so far as to cornering a few of us in the Heartside Ministries parking lot for a good ol’ informal questioning the morning of May 22. Regardless, it was a festive atmosphere. Folks came from as far away as Detroit and Kalamazoo to take part. No civil disobedience was planned since the objective was education and awareness, not disrupting the meeting or gaining big time media attention. Finally I encourage you all to watch Dr. Paige’s lecture when it airs on GRTV so you too can be enlightened by his wisdom (for a few laughs).

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org