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.