Anti-IMF protesters hit Georgetown

As is their wont, this year’s crop of anti-IMF protesters did indeed take to the streets of Georgetown yesterday evening. Vox wasn’t there, but we did get a first hand account from Georgetown student Carlos Hernandez, who found himself in the middle of the protest while walking back from a movie last night (emphasis mine):

My roommate, a friend and I were just leaving the movie theater after seeing State of Play and approaching the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Streets when we noticed there was a lot of commotion. Since we had seen a marked Secret Service car, we figured it was a high-profile official in the area for dinner (possibly Obama at Cafe Milano). Once we reached the intersection, a police convoy with bicycles, motorcycles, marked and undercover cars, SUVs and vans started making its way north on Wisconsin Avenue. We followed the convoy to see what was happening. Above us, a police helicopter was hovering and shining its search light on the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and N Streets.

There was some confusion among passers by as to what was happening. Since I had seen earlier reports of civil disturbances at the IMF/World Bank headquarters downtown, I thought that they might be related. After asking a few people, we were able to come to that conclusion. Overall, the entire situation happened pretty quickly. The protesters were confined to the corner by Paolo’s. They were shouting something, but no one really understood what they were saying. At one point, some of the protesters started going into the restaurant; the police stopped them. It did not appear to me that any arrests were made. One protester was being held by a police officer, and when the police officer appeared ready to put handcuffs on him most of the other protesters started yelling and moving up Wisconsin Avenue toward Five Guys. The police presence was very collected and coordinated.

The protesters seemed pretty disorganized. There were several pockets of them along Wisconsin Avenue. I am not sure what they were protesting, but it was entertaining/fascinating to watch some of our basic civil liberties (freedom of speech and freedom of assembly) in action. The police opened up southbound traffic on Wisconsin Avenue a few minutes later. My roommate and I then walked back to campus on O Street. We did not see how things ended since it appeared everything was under control.

3 Comments on “Anti-IMF protesters hit Georgetown

  1. The march had started in downtown DC at 17th and K and had proceeded through the city quite peacefully. We shouted slogans and kept to the sidewalk as we were told. Not a window was smashed nor brick thrown.

    As we approached the corner where the melee occurred, the police managed to push a protester over. He fell onto a potted plant outside the restaurant and knocked it over as he hit the ground. The pot broke and a handful of police moved forward to arrest him for apparently destroying property. We grabbed him and pulled him out of the grasp of police, at which point the police surged forward slamming us up against the store fronts.

    I think what stands out the most in my mind was a girl who happened to be on the street next to me as the disorder broke out. She was dressed in a black tube top dress, heels and carrying a clutch bag and an umbrella. I don’t think anyone could mistake her for a demonstrator. This did not, however, stop one of the officers from grabbing her by her hair and shoving her up against the wall telling her to not move or he would kill her. She started to cry and was immediately ordered to “shut the f**k up”. It wasn’t until one of the commanding officers gave a stand down order that she was released.

    After I was released and told to disperse I was confronted 2 more times on the way to the metro. One time I, and my friend who I had managed to find, were told to sit down and not move for about 10 minutes until the officers told us we could continue. The next time, we were again slammed against a wall and threatened, despite the fact that we were just walking towards the metro to go home after a long, tiring day. I had gone so far as to take the bandana off from around my neck and took my camo hat off and put on a green tshirt. Apparently I was still a target.

    The sheer amount of tax dollars that must have been wasted by such an overwhelming response is enough to make a conservative sick and a leftist chuckle.

  2. Ben this is to you and anyone else who wants to see some of the things that went down in Georgetown last Saturday night. The police were indeed very uncoordinated and extremely violent toward peaceful protesters, I was there taking pictures and one multiple occasions the cops were threatening me and my friends. We also had a run in with them on our way back to the metro, one police car ran onto the side walk followed by about 30 police bicycles to block us in. Than they forced us against the wall to be separated one by one to. These pictures are to help show what actually happened without any bias, and I am without any news or media, just a student.

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