'Good Idea' to Cancel IMF/World Bank Meetings, Protesters Say

July 7, 2008 - 8:19 PM

(CNSNews.com) - A spokesman for a coalition of groups planning protests at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Banks annual meetings later this month in Washington, said it is a "good idea" to call off the meetings in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

Figaro Joseph, a spokesman for 50year.org, the US Network for Global Economic Justice, told CNSNews.com that this is a "really sad time and I think that [cancellation] would probably be a good idea."

The coalition includes social and economic justice groups, including Jobs With Justice, Native Forest Network, Campaign for Labor Rights, and Global Justice Center.

Joseph said none of the coalitions members condone violence.

"We apply to the legal system to have permits and the idea of violence has never been part of any protest that we organized," he said. "Violence can't do anything for our cause."

Joseph believes the police and the media are to blame for giving protest groups a bad reputation. "The media is reluctant to admit that the police would interrogate people just to inflame things," he explained.

The IMF/World Bank meetings are scheduled to be held in downtown Washington on September 29 and 30 and draw tens of thousands of protesters from around the world.

D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey said Tuesday that he would like to see the meetings cancelled. Junis Fletcher of Ramsey's staff said their office has "not heard the official word if it's still going on or if it's postponed. The chief would like to see it postponed because of [Tuesday's] events."

Bill Murray, a spokesman for the IMF said that "no decision has been made yet" to cancel the meetings. He strongly denied a Reuters report stating the decision to cancel the meetings had already been made. Murray cautioned that the decision may take a while because "there are a lot of players involved here."

A spokesman for the World Bank said they have not made a decision and their board has not yet met to discuss the situation.