3 days of resistance to World Bank/IMF feature hundreds of activists, mobile DJ booth, bike blockade, and more.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | October 12, 2022

Washington, DC, October 12 – Beginning today and through Friday, a global coalition of activists will demonstrate at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings to demand that these institutions end their investment in fossil fuels, cancel the debt they claim Global South countries owe, and pay climate reparations.

Three days of resistance to World Bank/IMF feature hundreds of activists, mobile DJ booth, bike blockade, and more.

WHAT: Over 400 activists from around the world are planning three days of demonstrations with large-scale props and amplified sound, including a bike blockade, a mock trial, educational events, and a massive noise demonstration. On Friday, the week of action comes to an end with a festival of resistance envisioning the world we deserve, and a march featuring representations of international financial institutions in a literal bed with Big Oil. These demonstrations follow weeks of action by climate activists to remove World Bank president David Malpass, who refused to acknowledge climate change.

WHO: ShutDownDC, Arm in Arm For Climate (Washington, DC), The Big Shift Global, CODEPINK, Debt for Climate, Democratic Socialists of America International Committee, Extinction Rebellion (Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New York City), Glasgow Actions Team, GreenFaith, Justice is Global, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, others.


  • Wednesday, October 12, 5:00 PM, Edward R. Murrow Park (H St. and 18th St. NW): Bike blockade of the G20 dinner featuring 100 cyclists and a mobile DJ booth
  • 8:00 PM, Murrow Park: Teach-in: “How neoliberalism conquered the world and how the world is fighting back”
  • Thursday, October 13, 10:00 AM – noon, Murrow Park (rain location: George Washington University, Rome Hall Room 204, 801 22nd St. NW, Washington, DC 20052): Mock trial of the IMF and World Bank
  • 1:00 PM, Murrow Park: Soccer-themed noise demonstration outside the G20 press conference
  • Friday, October 14, 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Murrow Park: Festival of Resistance celebrating and welcoming the world we want to live in
  • Noon, Murrow Park: The Big Shift Global march – featuring international financial institutions in a literal bed with Big Oil – and rally calling on the IMF and World Bank to stop funding fossil fuel projects.


Detailed schedule available at https://www.forpeopleforplanet.earth/calendar/

WHY: The week of October 10th, the World Bank and IMF are holding their annual meetings in Washington, DC.* Drawing on decades of resistance to these institutions and following the leadership of organizations and individuals representing this global fight, activists are demanding that they cancel all debt, pay climate and colonial reparations to countries in the Global South, and stop funding fossil fuel projects.

The people making decisions at the IMF and World Bank meetings have historically chosen to advance colonialism, contribute to climate change, and make it harder for everyday people to survive events like natural disasters and pandemics. At this year’s meetings, they will continue to prioritize extractive energy markets over Indigenous sovereignty and climate justice, and profits for transnational corporations over the economic futures of countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

The decisions made at these meetings will most directly affect those who have contributed the least to the climate catastrophe and yet are the most indebted to the IMF and World Bank – like the tens of millions of people displaced last month as a result of flooding in Pakistan. The creative direct actions occurring this week are a powerful tool allowing activists to uplift the experiences and demands of our neighbors in the Global South.

HOW: For press inquiries please contact Basav Sen with ShutDownDC at media@shutdowndc.org or 513-262-2750.

*Washington DC is unceded territory of the Piscataway Conoy people. Learn more about The Cedarville Band of Piscataways and paying land tax, their collective choice for reparations here: CBPI, Inc. | Instagram, YouTube | Linktree


#ShutDownDC is an organizing space where individuals and groups can come together to organize direct action in the fight for justice.

Oct 12-14: Disrupt the IMF/World Bank #ForPeopleForPlanet

cross-posted from For People For Planet

This October, the decision-makers at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank will be in Washington, DC for a week of closed-door meetings.

Inside the meetings, the Boards of Governors of these institutions will continue their nearly 80-year tradition of a small group of people from the most privileged countries in the world making decisions that affect every single person and every single place on this planet, most devastatingly the Global South.

Outside, a global coalition of activists, organizations and the everyday people impacted by the World Bank and IMF’s decisions will gather to make our voices heard, disrupt the meetings, and reject the idea that the choices these institutions are making are what’s best for humanity and the planet we call home.


  1. Debt Cancellation. We demand the unconditional cancellation of all debts owed to the IMF and World Bank
  2. Climate and Colonial Reparations. Global North countries must pay reparations for their past and ongoing wrongs.
  3. End destruction of people and Planet. We demand the end of support for all new oil, gas, and coal extraction, transport, and use projects


Oct 12: Bike Bloc – Let’s Crash their Party!  Join us at 5pm at Edward R. Murrow Park (H St. and 18th St NW) for a bike bloc to disrupt business as usual for the G-20 finance ministers. We’ll snake through the streets of Foggy Bottom during rush hour traffic, as the finance ministers work to make their way to their dinner. Then we’ll end the ride outside the dinner where we’ll shine a light on the shady backroom deals that are being made over caviar and brandy.

Oct 13: The People vs the IMF and World Bank. We are hereby putting the IMF and World Bank on trial for their crimes against life on earth. Operating on behalf of the predatory financial vultures, these institutions have imposed policies in our countries that have enriched a few elites while subjecting vast numbers of our people to a life of perpetual misery. Today, they are making a shameful bid to capitalize on the climate disasters, economic crisis and war-induced shocks to ensure exorbitant profits for the rich. We, the People of the World, affirm that life and dignity of all people is sacred. We reject the notion that life can be banked on and hedged, or that we owe debt to those who have exploited our people and plundered our lands.

Oct 13: Drown Them Out! Noise Demonstration at the G-20 Press Conference. On Thursday, October 13, after a day-and-a-half of backroom plotting and planning the G-20 finance ministers will emerge from their closed door meeting for a press conference where they’ll try to explain how continuing to rig the economy to benefit rich fossil fuel companies is going to somehow address the climate crisis. We’ve heard enough of their lies and excuses so we’re going to drown them out! Join us for a noise demonstration outside of the World Bank Headquarters to drown them out! Bring noise makers, megaphones, pots and pans, and air horns! We’re meeting at 1pm at Edward R Murrow Park so we can be ready to GET LOUD when the press conference starts at 1:45pm.

Oct 14: Another World is Possible! Disrupt the IMF & World Bank and Create the Future We Need.  The morning of October 14th, delegates to the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank will make their way to DAR Constitution Hall for their plenary session. Inside the meeting they’ll double down on their failed system of economic imperialism that created the climate crisis. Outside, we’ll take the streets to envision a new world, where we decarbonize and decolonize our global economy and create a new system that works for people and for our planet. We’ll hold a festival of resistance right in the middle of the streets surrounding the hall with music, food, art and culture as a way to embody the world we are trying to create.



Extremism, the BBC, and Why the Center Cannot Hold

cross-posted from Certain Days

Interview with former Earth Liberation Front member Daniel McGowan by Susie Day

What is violence? Daily, millions of people see global environmental destruction; fossil fuel companies work tirelessly to extinguish ever-widening varieties of life; Pakistan is still under water… Yet almost twenty years ago, the Earth Liberation Front [ELF], a clandestine environmental organization in the Pacific Northwest – which took care, in its guerrilla actions destroying corporate property, not to hurt, let alone kill, any human or animal — grabbed headlines as the nation’s foremost violent terror threat. This happened because of Operation Backfire, the FBI’s code name for its bust of the ELF.

Daniel McGowan, a 30-something from Queens, who had fallen in love with what majesty remained of the Northwest’s wilderness, was one of the ELF activists swept up by Operation Backfire. In 2006 Daniel pleaded guilty to conspiracy and arson in two sabotage actions, one against an old-growth logging company, the other against a GMO tree farm. He was given a seven-year prison sentence with a terrorism enhancement and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution. His case included some 18 other “ecoterrorists,” one of whom, Daniel remembers, killed himself in prison.

Others, he says, “were presumed to have fled the country and were apprehended or turned themselves in years later. Roughly eight people cooperated with the feds against the others. About 12 or 13 of us went to prison in 2006…” Daniel ended up doing six years, mostly in communication management units [CMUs], a carceral innovation inspired by the US response to the 9/11 attacks. CMUs control – 24/7 – “terrorists,” whose every attempt to connect with other humans, in or out of prison, is surveilled and recorded.

Daniel, released in December 2012, was returned in 2013 to a Manhattan detention center for writing a HuffPo article criticizing his CMU treatment. Since his 2013 release, he has since lived a politically radical life – quietly, with a job and family.

Quietly, that is, until a few months ago, when Daniel’s past came back in the form of the British Broadcasting Corporation, which asked to interview him for “Burn Wild,” a credulous, liberal podcast about Operation Backfire’s obliteration of the ELF. I asked Daniel why he said Yes to the BBC. What follows is only a fraction of what the BBC didn’t – couldn’t – get about Daniel; about prison; about violence…

Daniel McGowan: They hit me up on Twitter. I thought maybe I should do damage control and take one for the team. I also fall for the accents. So I said: “Sure, BBC – that’ll be credible.” I knew these individuals had covered rightwing extremists; I didn’t realize they were saying, “Now, we’ll look at left-wing extremists!”

When you talk about extremism, you are, by default, saying that the center is the correct position. But the center is the status quo, right? The center is COVID, homelessness, climate crisis, government inaction, people in prison. Their frame allows us to make the right and left equivalent. I asked this BBC journalist, “Do you think we’re the left-wing version of Nazis?” And she was: “Absolutely not!” I said, “But you’re talking about us like we are.”

Trump or Pol Pot would never say they’re extremists, right? Nobody considers themselves extreme, but when the term came up in the “first podcast, I felt there’s this Othering process going on. When you say, “ecoterrorists,” “domestic terrorists,” you’re talking about people like they’re fucking crazy. If you can make them nonhuman, you can do whatever you want with them. I dealt with that in my case, when prosecutors would go for the “terrorism” thing. I’d look at my lawyer, like, “Who are they talking about?” I’m aware of what I did. I know that destroying property, or people coming to their office to see their shit trashed is upsetting. My problem with the movement is we pussyfoot around the issue of violence. In my case, it progressed to the government’s boldface lying:

This is the number one domestic terror threat in the United States! These people should go to prison for life!”

To see a credible journalist parrot that phrase…

sd: Should we stop talking about this podcast?

DM: They’re gonna get attention anyway. They’ll get their clicks and promote their careers; I’ve resigned myself. But this is like the whitest podcast I’ve ever listened to in my life, which is saying a lot. It’s so Oregonian, that overwhelmingly white state, founded as a settler Utopia by fucking crazies.

sd: Since you left prison, what political work have you done?

DM: For over a decade, I’ve been working on a calendar project called Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners. It was started in the late ‘90s by three now-former NY State  political prisoners: Robert Seth Hayes, Herman Bell, and David Gilbert. We work with a currently held political prisoner in Texas named Xinachtli, formerly known as Alvarado Hernandez. Every calendar has 12 original pieces of art and 12 articles. We just launched the 2023 calendar.

sd: Are you still involved in climate activism?

DM: To be honest, the eco thing has not been a main part of my life for some time.

sd: But the emergency has never been more dire.

DM: True. Environmental activism is totally worthwhile. In the last ten years, you’ve seen the confluence of Indigenous people at the forefront – that’s so important. But, for complicated reasons, I don’t have much involvement with it.

sd: You said that we pussyfoot around the issue of violence.  How would you want us on the left to discuss it?

DM: I find that people often split violence and nonviolence as code for good and bad when, in fact, they’re just different descriptions. If people put themselves in the nonviolent camp, then anything outside that camp is bad. We tell stories that any good change in society happened because people politely asked for it.

We pretend that social change will happen if people are very polite, or we put forth the best piece of legislation, or our arguments are perfect. But if we’re real students of history, we’ll see social change as about coercion and force in a lot of ways. I find it annoying when people veer away from discussing violence.

sd: Speaking of good/bad: When the left is criticized for  being violent, people often argue – Angela Davis and Vijay Prashad do this, for instance – that we should look instead to governments, especially the US government, as perpetrators of the real violence. Personally, I think they’re right, but doesn’t this also shut down the conversation? Like, they’re evil; we’re the good ones?

DM: Right. That answer doesn’t really address the question. If your premise is Violence Is Bad, then I understand why you don’t want to answer. But seeing violence as bad is ahistorical. Movements I’ve been a part of have critiqued the civil rights movement: you march and allow yourself to get beat up.

But you also had groups like the Deacons for Defense that advocated for armed action. Not to know about those groups or to pretend the movement was all kumbaya is disingenuous. I’m not comfortable with the idea of violence; I’m not some person that wants to hurt others. But even mainstream people can see that there’s a time and place for it, right?

sd: Do you do any work on behalf of prisoners these days?

DM: I’ve been doing abolitionist projects that don’t leave people behind. For example, fighting solitary confinement or supporting care packages – issues that don’t exceptionalize. It always bothers me when political prisoners are seen as exceptional. When I was in prison, I had to remind myself: Are you being singled out as political? Sometimes I was, but many times the shit I was forced to eat was the shit everyone was forced to eat. That doesn’t make it better, but you can take solace knowing you’re treated like everyone – so everyone should organize against this horrible treatment.

Like, Eric King is held at ADX [supermax US penitentiary near Florence, CO]. They sent him there, saying he’s “the worst of the worst,” which is a bullshit way to define people. Eric’s a political prisoner, but there’s also 353 other people there in those 24-hour-a-day lockdown units.

sd: Remembering that Eric’s not exceptional, what are his conditions?

DM: Eric barely speaks to anyone in a given day – he’s not even at the most restrictive part of ADX, where perhaps Ramzi Yousef or El Chapo are. But it still means he lives in one cell and can’t interact with anyone. What does that do to you? He’s just over a year from release. Actually, that is something I haven’t seen before – they’re doing this to him on his way out. It feels like payback.

sd: Payback? Now we do need to talk about Eric, specifically.

DM: Eric threw a Molotov cocktail at a congressional member’s empty office during the Ferguson uprising. The congressperson – your mainstream Democrat-type – was making disparaging comments about the Ferguson protests. Eric targeted his building when nobody was in it and got ten years for attempted arson. Went to prison at FCI Englewood. You don’t have any privacy in prison so Eric had some thoughts scrawled in his journal, and ended up getting 90 days in the SHU [special housing unit]. Got sent to FCI Florence and one morning, another prisoner punched another prisoner punched a guard. So Eric wrote an email to his wife saying something like, “That was the Punch Heard Around the World.”

A guard got punched; no big deal. Actually, for the person who punched him, it was probably a massive deal – three years later, he’s probably still in the SHU.

Anyhow, they didn’t like Eric’s email. They called Eric into the lieutenant’s office, then brought him into an off-camera room and started a fight. He defended himself and for that was indicted, then sent to an East Coast penitentiary where Nazis told him that he’s not allowed to walk the yard. He was held there pretrial over a year. When his case came up, his lawyers helped defend him and he was acquitted by a jury. They sent him back to that same prison, despite the standing Nazi threat, then back to ADX. So he’s buried at the supermax with 353 other people. This is what the BOP does to people that resist their bullshit.

sd: What was prison like for you?

DM: I was 32 when I was sentenced to seven years. I was working on a master’s degree, using government computers, and I blogged about current events. They read it and got pissed off. So when they opened this CMU and were looking for people that weren’t Muslim but had terrorism cases, I stood out: “Let’s get rid of this pain in the ass.”

I had far less harassment than Eric. But doing seven years has obviously had a big impact on me, my mental health and outlook in general.

sd: How so?

DM: Prison seems to accentuate aspects of your personality, good or bad; it’s a catalyst. When I was inside, my tendency to be super-particular and obsessed with lists was amplified. I’m a go-getter and high-energy, but prison was like: Coach benched me – I wanted to play so BAD

There’s also the problem of forgetting that people outside have lives and jobs. I notice now how long it takes me to have lives and jobs. I notice now how long it takes me to answer someone in prison. I’m ashamed, because I used to complain constantly: “Oh, why won’t you write me back?”

Now I’m eating it. I apologize, “I’m sorry I was so demanding.”

sd: How do you think the public sees people who’ve been to prison?

DM: I went to a coffee festival in Brooklyn – I love coffee – and I found this thing called Jailhouse Coffee, with varieties like Solitary Sumatra. People think it’s funny. Why would you brand your coffee on the backs of people in prison?That’s punching down. When crime and prisoners come up, people like to pretend they’re TV prosecutors on Special Victims Unit: Throw away the key! They don’t know what they’re talking about…

Now I’m dealing with this BBC podcast. Thousands of people will listen. I’m not going to stem the reach of some British corporation, no matter what I do. I just tell myself, “You can push back a little, but you know it has to be collective, right? Members in your collective can help you.

You’re OUT now – you’re not going back in there.” Hopefully.

Susie Day has written about prison issues since 1988, when she began reporting on the cases of people charged with political protest acts, one of them, Marilyn Buck. Her book, The Brother You Choose: Paul Coates and Eddie Conway Talk About Life, Politics, and The Revolution, was published by Haymarket Books in 2020.