4 tips for enjoying this weekend’s anti-globalization protest

The hotly anticipated IMF protest this weekend is shaping up:

Join us at Dupont Circle at 1:00 am on the night of Saturday, Oct. 11th into the morning of Sunday, Oct. 12th for a rowdy, noisy march to the hotels where delegates are staying. Bring noisemakers to wake up the caretakers of global capitalism and tell them they’re not welcome in DC!

Dupont Circle is only a short walk away, though, so you should go check out the controlled chaos of an anti-IMF march. I covered Disrupt Georgetown last year and nearly got arrested for it, so I’m uniquely qualified to show you a good time once Homecoming fun fizzles. Here are four tips to keep your head from getting slammed against a wall:

  • Get messy: Some people think standing on the sidewalk and watching cops and protesters scuffle is a good time. Hardly! Protesters will probably be marching down the middle of the street with bicycle and motorcycle cops encircling them, so you need to run in right from the start and get caught up in the rectangle. When it comes time to escape, be firm with the bicycle police trying to keep you inside.
  • Stay with the violent ones: Some coalition of vegan pansexual socialists will probably show up with no intention of smashing windows. They’ll complain to you about the masked anarchists (above), and will try and split off from the main protest at one point. Don’t join them. It might be tempting because they’re nicer, but none of them are going to get arrested or smacked around, and that’s what you’re here for.

  • Dress down: Mingling with protesters requires a delicate style balancing act. Obviously, you want to leave the pearls and Lacoste at home so as not to anger protesters, but you also need to be dressed well enough that you can disappear if things get heady. Last year I wore a flannel shirt and jeans, and that worked out. The rule of thumb is, try dressing like a protester meeting his girlfriend’s parents.
  • Keep your eyes open: Inevitably, the police will tire of the protest and pin everyone against a wall. They’ll let people go eventually, but only a couple at a time. You’re better off splitting before that, but figuring out when that’s about to happen is tricky. Watch for blocked exits like phalanxes of cops down side streets, and try to tell if the police ring is moving the protesters against a building.

I’ll be wearing the houndstooth kerchief mask, so say hello.

3 Comments on “4 tips for enjoying this weekend’s anti-globalization protest

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  2. Pingback: Another Dead Canary » Blog Archive » Protesting the IMF: Letting sleeping dogs lie

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