Skip to main content
CNN Europe CNN Asia
On CNN TV Transcripts Headline News CNN International About Preferences
powered by Yahoo!

Hundreds arrested at IMF protests

'G-24' finance ministers are meeting

From Bob Franken, Shirley Hung and Mike Ahlers (CNN)

   Story Tools

more video VIDEO
Protesters targeted a meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank as they clashed with police (September 27)
premium content
 • On the scene: CNN's Bob Franken 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Police in the District of Columbia drew a distinct and uncrossable line in the sand Friday for protesters targeting meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, taking 649 people into custody while avoiding the mass violence that has marred other such demonstrations in recent years.

Law enforcement sources estimated there were around 2,000 protesters throughout the day at different locations.

Some protesters threw rocks and smoke bombs in clashes with police on the rainy streets of the nation's capital, and others tried to block intersections and sidewalks. Those who caused a disturbance were taken away, while those who protested peacefully stayed, police said.

Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey said that some people had been taken into custody without formal arrest, including 40 picked up for blocking a sidewalk on Connecticut Avenue.

The protesters object to what they see as unfair IMF policies that benefit wealthier nations at the expense of developing nations. The IMF disagrees, saying it is the poor of the world who are benefited by its policies.

District of Columbia police arrested 21 people when they tried to block the intersection of 14th Street at Independence near the IMF meeting site. Another 40 people were arrested nearby in a skirmish with police that included rock throwing and smoke bombs.

In the first incident, 25 people sat down in the middle of the intersection, four of them chained together. Police gave the protesters two minutes to move, and only four complied.

A demonstrator is detained against a police cruiser in downtown Washington, D.C.
A demonstrator is detained against a police cruiser in downtown Washington, D.C.

Police sawed the chains of the four who were chained together. All 21 will be charged with failing to obey police order, said D.C. Metropolitan Police Capt. Ralph McLein.

In the second incident, police clashed with about 150 protesters at a Citibank branch at the intersection of Vermont and K Streets.

In Georgetown, several dozen protesters chanted and partially disrobed outside two Gap stores, protesting the company's labor and environmental record. (Full story)

The executive director of the environmental group Greenpeace USA, John Passacantando, was among those arrested during the day, according to Greenpeace officials, who said Passacantando was not participating in the protests but had been swept up in the arrests while riding his bicycle to work.

Between 200 and 300 protesters gathered in a park near the site of the IMF meeting, but police said there had been no problems there.

About 1,500 D.C. police officers were being assisted by 1,700 officers from other jurisdictions around the country, D.C. police said.

Finance ministers of the Group of 24, or "G-24" -- 24 countries whose collective task is to coordinate the positions of developing nations on monetary and finance issues and to ensure that those positions are adequately represented to the IMF and World Bank -- were meeting at IMF headquarters on Friday, ahead of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings, which begin Sunday.

The G-24 consists of eight member-states each from Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Finance ministers of the Group of 7, or "G-7," were also to meet on Friday to discuss economic and financial issues among the major industrial countries -- Canada, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and Italy.

Story Tools

Top Stories
Father guilty of killing 9 of his children
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
© 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.