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<nettime> IMF/World Bank Meeting: prague-update #002

IMF/World Bank Meeting
22-29 september @ prague/cz

NEWS 27/07/00 - 06/08/00

[1] Sand In The Wheels - ATTAC newsletter 26/07/00 -
[2] New links -
[3] Czech Army -
[4] First Aid, Public Photos, Tear Gas -
[5] Important: 24+25/09/00 -
[6] More Czech News -
[7] taz-artikel [GER]
[8] Textsammlung IMF [GER] -
[9] UK activists -
[10] Mobilize trade unions -
[11] Strahov Studium -
[12] Passport/Visa -

the news are extracted from the following mailinglists:,,,

---------- [1] Sand In The Wheels - ATTAC newsletter 26/07/00

The World Bank and the IMF will hold their semi-annual joint meeting on
September 26, 2000 in Prague, the Czech Republic. The World Bank and the
IMF, two of the cornerstones of the international financial system, claim
to be working to eliminate poverty, but really their real purpose is to
force developing nations to embrace corporate globalization. The result is
rampant abuse of workers' rights and the environment and the further
impoverishment of the very people the World Bank and the IMF are
supposedly there to help. 

Tens of thousands will take the streets in Prague on September 26 to
protest these harmful institutions and their advance into Eastern

Their fight is our fight!

Fight Corporate Globalization where you stand! Localize the Movement for
Global Justice!

Here is what some are planning for September 26:

- Confront a Union-Busting Employer in your Community who is ignoring
his/her workers' right to organize!
- Protest a local privatization plan in you city!
- Hold a forum on canceling Third World Debt!
- Target a toxic-waste dumper in your community!
- Do a leafleting or protest at a store location or corporate headquarters
of an offensive corporation!
- Do an action at a Citibank branch to pressure them to stop purchasing
World Bank Bonds!

Issues we can all understand


A constant IMF/World Bank prescription for countries where they operate is
increasing "labor market flexibility". In practice this means opposing
increases in the minimum wage, weakening trade unions and workers'
bargaining power, and opposing any social protections that would make
workers less willing to work for low wages. In the US working people face
similar campaigns to erode their power. Thousands of workers are fired
each year by American employers for joining together to organize unions. 


As a condition of lending money to poor countries, the World Bank and the
IMF often demand that governments privatize state-run enterprises, such as
university education, health care, electricity, and water. In Bolivia,
last year, The World Bank loan encouraged the government to privatize the
water system, making water rates triple and making water unaffordable for
many families. Local labor, student, community, and indigenous groups
fought back against the government's plan and reversed the privatization.
The drive for the privatization of health care and social security in the
US reflects the same economic policies here at home. 


The World Bank and the IMF continue to force poor countries to pay back
their debt despite the fact that many lack the funds to properly care for
their own people. The IMF and World Bank's control of the debt issue
preserves their power to impose unpopular austerity policies. Sub-Saharan
African countries spend more on debt payment than on primary education and
health care combined. 


Debt payments and neoliberal structural adjustment policies have a
negative impact on health in both developing and developed countries. IN
most Sub-Saharan African nations, governments spend four times as much on
debt repayment as on heath care, despite the frighteningly spread of HIV
and AIDS. In the US 42 million Americans are without health care coverage
because of a similar. 


Policies of the World Bank and the IMF have had a devastating impact on
the environment. After granting Nicaragua a loan in 1994, the IMF
supported the expansion of logging industry, causing an increase in
Nicaragua's already high rate deforestation (370,000 acres / year). A this
rate, the new forests that remain in Nicaragua will disappear quickly. In
the US, corporate toxic waste dumpers benefit from similar policies. 


IMF/World Bank policies have been most successful in paving the way for US
corporations to exploit the human and ecological resources of developing
countries. The WB/IMF encourage "Free Trade Zones" or "Export Processing
Zones" where a countries' tax and labor laws are suspended to attract
foreign corporations. Companies like Nike and the Gap benefit enormously
from such programs. Oil companies like ExxonMobil have benefited from
World Bank sponsored pipeline projects that harm the environment and
displace longtime residents. 


Universities, faith-based organizations, unions, governments, and other
institutions that we control buy the bonds that finance the World Bank.
The World Bank Bonds Boycott is an international campaign using grassroots
economic power to demand an end to structural adjustment lending and other
environmentally and socially World Bank policies. 


Extensive data from around the world show that IMF imposed austerity and
economic reform programs have stripped many women of what meager health
and education benefits were once available to them. Women's formal sector
unemployment has increased due to IMF induced recessions, privatizations,
and government cutbacks. 

In cities across the country coalitions of labor, community, student and
faith based activists will organize actions against local targets to
highlight the same issues that our sisters and brothers will be protesting
in Prague. Activists will also release a new report, "Changing the Rules
of the Game: How Corporations benefit from the WB/IMF lending". For more
information or to get involved, contact Jobs with Justice at 202-434.1106
or email

---------- [2]

New Links

Mid-Atlantic Infoshop    ->
Alternative Press Review ->
Practical Anarchy Online ->

the a16-manual, still recommanded!

for further information on chemical weapons used by policeforces got to:

*An appraisal of technologies for political control* by the European

in favor of safer sex,


---------- [3]

Radio Prague (30.07.00)

Gross: Czech Army will not be used directly at IMF meeting

The Interior Minister, Stanislav Gross, has said that the Czech Army will
not be used directly to help keep order during September's Prague meeting
of the IMF and World Bank. He said they will only serve to provide
equipment for the police force. He added that 1600 soldiers will be
helping the police, but that they will nearly all be stationed outside the
city and will be unarmed. He firmly denied accusations that the ministry
was being too heavy-handed, amid fears of a repeat of last year's violent
protests in Seattle. 

---------- [4]

Hello All,

I asked an independent person versed in legal issues about some of the
legal questions that we have been getting from you all.  Here are the
answers I got.  Hope these help. 

In the Czech Republic:


1.  There is no special law about providing medical first aid in the
streets, but if you don't provide general assistance (not specifically
medical first aid) to a person who is in danger of death or seems to be in
serious difficulty, that is in fact a crime. 


2.  You can take photographs in public places as you please. The only
problem could be protecting the privacy of those you photograph. You can
also take photographs of police if they are in service. But they can tell
you to go away because it's a police zone and then if you take a photgrpah
it can be consider that you are in violation of a police order. 


3.  There is no law prohibiting use of tear gas or pepper gas by citizens.
If you use it in the situation of self-defence, a condition of
proportionality applies. Concerning police use of tear gas, it is
considered a means of coercion in police action. So it is a legal weapon
and you don't need a license for it. 

---------- [5]


For those groups who are planning to get to Prague early you should know
that the important business meetings at which key decisions will be taken
are scheduled for 24th (Development Committee meeting) and 25th
(International Monetary and Finance Committee meeting).  I don't know
whether any strategy is being discussed for trying to prevent these
meetings taking place but they are key in terms of setting the IMF and
Bank work programmes and agreeing reforms to their structure, operations
etc. Although the AGM "officially" opens on 26th this day (and 27th) will
simply be a series of speeches from governors etc and will not actually be
a "business" meeting. 

---------- [6]

Radio Prague (02.08.00)

Czech Helsinki Committee criticises police priorities

The Czech Helsinki Committee has expressed concern over the recent
behaviour of Czech police. In its released statement, the human rights
organisation criticised the police for its over-zealousness in preparing
to crack down on protests at the fall meeting of the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank on one hand, and its neglect of serious
crimes such as violence against women, robbery and prostitution on the
other. The committee has specifically criticised the police's reaction to
two attacks against women which occurred in June in Prague, and which the
organisation said were inadequately publicised. 

Anti-globalisation activists launch first protest in Prague

Members of the Initiative Against Economic Globalisation or INPEG have
launched their first demonstration in Prague. The event is the first of a
planned series of protests dubbed "55 years were enough" which are to take
place every 10 of the remaining 55 days until the fall meeting of the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Prague. 

Remaining Czech Tek ravers given ultimatum to leave premises

The remaining partiers at a rave in southern Bohemia have been given an
ultimatum to leave the grounds by the mayor of the Jilovec region. The
rave, dubbed Czech Tek, has been going on since last Friday, and reports
say 500 of the original 5000 participants, which included Techno music
fans from the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Poland, are currently left
on the site.  According to a local police spokesman police are prepared to
intervene at the mayor's request. 

---------- [7]

"Weltbank-Tagung im Visier"
Beim September-Gipfel von IWF und Weltbank in Prag werden die Strassen
heiss umkaempft sein: 50.000 Demonstranten erwartet.
Neuer IWF-Chef Horst Koehler zur Visite bei Vaclav Havel

aus Prag  von ULRIKE BRAUN

Gestern flog der Chef des Internationalen Waehrungsfonds (IWF), Horst
Koehler, zu einem Besuch des tschechischen Praesidenten Vaclav Havel nach
Prag, um die Jahrestagung von IWF und Weltbank vorzubereiten. Er war im
Mai dieses Jahres gekuert worden, nach langem Streit zwischen den USA und
Europa und nachdem der Wunschkandidat der Bundesregierung,
Finanzstaatssekretaer Caio Koch-Weser, bei den anderen Industrielaendern
nicht die erforderliche breite Zustimmung gewonnen hatte. Beim Gipfel in
Prag will Koehler nun sein Reformprogramm fuer den IWF vorstellen. 

Ein Schwerpunkt seiner Gespraeche mit Havel duerfte der zu erwartende
Protest auf den Prager Strassen werden. Schliesslich hatte die Vorsitzende
der Organisation Jubilee 2000, Ann Pettifore, schon gewarnt: Seattle sei
nur das Vorspiel gewesen. Bei der Jahrestagung wollen die Gegner klotzen
und nicht kleckern. Sie seien so tief enttaeuscht von den Ergebnissen zum
Schuldenerlass der G-8-Tagung im japanischen Okinawa, dass sie dieser
Frustration in Prag freien Lauf lassen wuerden. In Okinawa selbst war es
ruhig - die Ruhe vor dem Sturm? 

Anstelle der bisher geschaetzten 20.000 Demonstranten zum Gipfel, der
offiziell am 20. September beginnt, erwartet das tschechische
Innenministerium inzwischen ueber doppelt so viele. Schuld daran seien die
G8, die sich in Okinawa wieder erfolgreich herausgeredet haetten,
Dritte-Welt-Laendern ihre Schulden zu erlassen: "Das traegt zur
Mobilisierung von vielen tausend mehr als bisher erwartet bei",
prognostiziert Pettifore. So wird wohl nichts aus dem Traum von Praesident
Vaclav Havel, IWF-Vertretern und Globalisierungsgegnern den Geist der
Verstaendigung einzuhauchen, zu dem Prag, wie Havel meinte, doch geradezu
praedestiniert sei. 

Stattdessen plant das Innenministerium, 11.000 Polizisten bereitzustellen,
und hat die Kollegen vom Verteidigungsressort ersucht, eventuell auch die
Armee einsatzbereit zu halten. Die sollen aber, so Innenminister Stanislav
Gross in einem Interview in der tschechischen Tageszeitung Lidove noviny,
nicht durch Gewaltbereitschaft auffallen, sondern nur "rasant" und "im
Rahmen des Gesetzes" eingreifen. Eingesetzt werde die Truppe wohl
besonders am 26. September, denn der wurde von den Globalisierungsgegnern
zum Demo-Day erklaert. Die groesste der vielen geplanten Demonstrationen
und Blockaden soll genau an diesem Tag im Prager Zentrum stattfinden. 
Jetzt weiss McDonalds wenigstens schon mal, fuer wann es den Glaser
bestellen muss. 

Die Bewohner der Hauptstadt werden durch Flugblaetter aufgeklaert, wie sie
sich am besten den Demonstranten und am sichersten den Polizisten
gegenueber verhalten sollten: Maul halten und weiterlaufen, weder
diskutieren noch widersprechen. 

Offen ist noch, wer fuer die teuren Sicherheitsvorkehrungen zahlen soll. 
Der Etat von 935 Millionen Kronen (gut 51 Millionen Mark), den das
Innenministerium fuer die Sicherheit der Banker, Buerger und Politiker
veranschlagt hat, wird dem Druck der Globalisierungsgegner nicht
standhalten. Jetzt plant Prag, den IWF um einen kleinen Zuschuss zu
bitten: 50 Millionen Kronen fehlen noch, musste der Regierungsbeauftragte
fuer die Tagung, Zdenek Hruby, zugeben. 

Wenigstens macht sich das Prager Innenministerium auch Gedanken um das
Wohl der Demonstranten: Nach langem Hin und Her, wer fuer eventuelle
Schaeden aufkommen soll, hat das Ministerium vom Magistrat der Stadt das
Strahov-Stadion in der Naehe der Prager Burg hoch ueber der Stadt fuer
ihre Unterbringung gemietet. Nicht dass sich die Tschechen von Chile haben
inspirieren lassen, wo bei Pinochets Rechtsputsch 1973 Tausende
Oppositionelle in ein Stadion eingesperrt und gefoltert wurden: Im Stadion
soll eine Zeltstadt entstehen, in der sich bis zu 11.000 der erwarteten
50.000 Demonstranten gegen eine Gebuehr von umgerechnet etwa 75 Mark fuer
die Dauer ihrer Mission an der Moldau einquartieren koennen. 

---------- [8]

liebe leute,
wir haben eine Textsammlung zur IWF-Politik in Osteuropa erstellt.

Manches ist schon etwas älter, die AutorInnen sind nicht unbedingt Linke,
sondern WissenschaftlerInnen und/oder PolitikerInnen und/oder
JournalistInnen. Aber zum ersten Einlesen zu bestimmten Ländern sind die
Texte vielleicht geeignet. Wer sie haben möchte, kann eine mail an uns
( schicken. Kopieren und zuschicken etc. kann dauern,
vielleicht finden sich ja auch welche, die dies anbieten können??? Viel
Spaß beim Lesen! 

- Janko Sekaj: Slowakei: Die bittere Medizin des IWF (OWGI 10/93)
- Tamás Krausz: Ungarn: Übergang ohne soziales Netz (OWGI 10/93)
- Amelie Lanier: Ungarn: Regiert vom IWF (OWGI 2/96)
- Judith Dellheim: Soziale Polarisierung: Lateinamerika im Osten? (OWGI 2/97)
- Hansgeorg Conert: Finanzkrise in Russland: Ursachen, Ausdrucksformen,
Perspektiven (OWGI 4/98)
- Detlef Bimboes: Konfliktregion Kaspisches Meer: Erdöl, Krieg und Krisen
(OWGI 3/99)
- Boris Kagarlitzki: Osteuropa: An den Rand gedrängt (OWGI 4/99)
- Catherine Samary: "Veränderung ohne Alternative" (OWGI 4/99)
- Karl Kaser: Jugoslawien: Ein verlorenes Jahrzehnt (OWGI 4/99)
- Gernot Erler: Das organisierte Verhängnis. Die Politik des IWF gegenüber
(FR 24. 11. 99)
- Bernard Cassen: Neoliberale Zwangsjacke für Europa (Le Monde diplomatique
- Catherine Samary: Für den Osten wird es teuer (Le Monde diplomatique 6/2000)
- Adam Novak: Die tschechischen Kommunisten melden sich zurück
(Le Monde diplomatique 4/2000)
- László Andor: Ungarn darbt im Vorzimmer der EU. Sparen für den Beitritt
(Le Monde diplomatique 4/2000)

OWGI: Ost-West-Gegeninformationen, Graz (

die osteuropa-ag

---------- [9]

Howdy y'all.

This is a breif update on what we're doing in the UK and
particulary London concerning mobilisation.


We have set-up 10 S26 collectives around the country all promising at
least a coach of 50 people. Most of them have already confirmed this. 
Jubilee 2000 have organised transport but only for the weekend and are not
staying (as far as I know for S26). Also a few collectives have organised
coaches to arrive on S26 in the morning and then leave on the night of the
same day. There we're a few arguments about the safety or usefullness of
staying such a short period which hasn't been resolved. 

London S26 collective

We will be putting on 2 coaches as the London group. The long stay coach
will be in Prague on Sat. 23rd sept. and leave Prague on Wed. 27th sept. 
The Short saty coach will be in Prague on Mon. 25th sept. and leave Wed. 
27th sept. We will hope to get as many people on our coaches rather than
others because of our knowledge of the trip and of what to expect in


In London there will be several fundraising events in the lead up to
Prague. Also early Sept we will be having a teach-in. 


We are still finishing work on the ANTI-CAPITALIST TOUR MAP. We we're
disppointed that people in Prague haven't replied to our requests for
information about possible points of interest for the Map. 

translations: We have also compiled a 5 page list of Czech to english
translations so people can learn the language on root to Prague. The
phrases include: "You fascist pig" "Where is the nearest Mcdonalds?" "Long
live Anarchy" 

Finally, there is so much stuff being organised and collectives are
forming everywhere. In London we have a South East Collective, North
Collective, South London Collective and the larger London Collective. 

Expect in all around 1,000 people from the UK.

---------- [10]


The majority of you will know about the absolute vital contribution the US
trade unions made to Seattle and the effect of their failure to give more
than merely symbolic support to the demos in Washington, D.C.  We really
want to turn Prague S26 into a vibrant event helping to shape (not only)
the European labour movement for years to come, an event with all the
components present that will, in a not too far off future, be able to
detonate their system of global profit chasing rat races forever. 

This is an updated list of trade union bodies in the Czech Republic that
we recommand you to approach, ideally through trade unions in your own
countries or with their support.  We would also welcome your informing us
of any steps taken by you in that direction.  Thomas Socialist
Solidarity/INPEG, Prague

---------- [11]

We continue to share Rowena's concern about accomodations during the
protests.  The only info you have sent refers to an "activitst-friendly"
place at "Strahov Public Campground." No mention that this is a stadium
(shades of Santiago!)  and that the friendly organizer is actually the
Ministry of the Interior!  HONEST info about this comes from IMF
(  -- not from you. Shame! 

---------- [11a]

Answer From: * * <>

In regard to the accommodation issue and a recent message sent by

In Praha we continue to work on the accommodation issue.  We understand
that you are all very concerned about it and that it is crucial to your
trip here.  For various reasons, mostly cultural, we have had difficulty
finding alternative accommodation (not hostels, campgrounds, hotels, or
the stadium)  for everyone.  We realise that the stadium is not a viable
option for most people.  The good news is that there have been some recent
developments in this area and we are hopeful.  Please bare with us and
keep the faith. 

The purpose of all of us coming here in September is to join together in
the struggle for Global Justice.  In this respect, please know that we are
doing the best to our capacity to make everything run smoothly.  With this
in mind, we really do not appreciate being shamed from afar.  If you want
to be critical, I encourage you to assist the organisers in Prague
directly and/or come here to offer your time in this respect.  Please know
that the organisers in Praha are volunteering their time and energy to
this difficult task; encouragement is better than words of rebuke. 

In case anyone did not get the accommodation working group email address
off of the last working group contact list that was sent out, it is

---------- [12]

here is some information regarding passports which hasn't been made public
here. Text is taken from

Visas are not required by nationals of the following countries provided
they have a national passport valid for at least 90 days from the date of

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico Moldova, Netherlands, New
Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak
Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkmenistan,
United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and the Vatican City. 

Spread this info widely!!

---------- [X]

Do You Resist!?
Thousands of Cops. Millions of People. All in one place.
Prague! S26:


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