Hundreds of demonstrators descended upon Foggy Bottom and Georgetown this weekend, protesting the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund during their fall meetings. The protests made our community less safe and difficult to navigate. D.C. students and residents are familiar with the activism springing from the meetings, and there is a necessary place for opposition to the organizations. However, there is no place for violence amid what could have been a civil discussion of substantive issues.
When a police officer was thrown off his scooter and a brick hit a young woman’s head Friday night, civility disappeared. Protesters told The Hatchet that the night was a success and that militant action is acceptable. One demonstrator said that change through speech is often not enough. They argue that they have been ineffective, and, for that, they are right.
Perhaps those in power are not ready to reform the policies of the World Bank and IMF. Maybe no level of protest in lobbying or in the streets is going to impact the decision-makers. This page is not arguing that activism is futile, but it does believe that violence will not aid the demonstrators’ case. In vandalizing stores and assaulting residents, the protesters only instill fear. This only further chips away at their credibility and reduces hopes of seeing any change.