Labor activists march on Walton Foundation, blockade K st; 16 arrested

Video of the march, Walton Foundation action, and K st blockade

On the 16th of October, labor activists and Wal-Mart “associated” gathered in front of the AFL-CIO building at 16th and H sts. From there they marched on the offices of the Walton Foundation, where a sign bearing a petition for $15 an hour and full time hours for Wal-Mart workers was refused. The Walton Foundation sent building management to negotiate with protesters who entered the building, claiming the Walton Foundation office was closed and empty. This was a lie, people were sighted inside. With the petition refused, activists moved just north to the intersection of 18th st and K street and blocked the intersection for the next hour and a half. Eventually cops moved in, arresting 16 particpants in the civil disobediance.

The 4 surviving members of the Walton Family were reported at the starting rally at the AFL-CIO to have a net worth of $150 BILLION, more than the bottom 43% of the US public combined. Put another way, that much money would buy 2, 300 Gulfstream G650 luxury corporate jets, each with a list price of $64M in 2013 if the factory could ever produce that many. Meanwhile other speakers called out Wal-Mart for paying so little that their employees are forced to rely on food stamps and other public assistance. This means Wal-Mart relies on a huge taxpayer subsidy to replace a substantial part of the expense of paying a living wage.

Taxpayer subsidies for Wal-Mart also have the effect that Wal-Mart’s competitors must pay their own employees plus part of the equivalent wages for Wal-Mart’s employees! No wonder stores competing with Wal-Mart to go bankrupt. I have personally visited towns so badly damaged by the opening of a Wal-mart that I called them “Wal-Mart nuked.” This means a town filled with boarded up buildings dotted with a few luxury boutiques, like what I saw in Fayettesville, NC during an antiwar protest there in 2005.

The view from inside the building housing the Walton Foundation’s offices

Blocking K street and 18th Street, in the heart of DC’s corporate territory

Cops arresting blockaders after a failed attempt to wait them out

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Maccabe Haifi vs Washington Wizards basketball game draws pro-Palestine protest

On the 15th of October, the Israeli basketball team Macabee Haifi was defeated 105-95 by the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center. Both inside and outside, protesters denounced Israel’s aggression against the people of Palestine. One protester re-used the former name of the Wizards, calling Macabee Haifi the “Israeli Bullets.” This protest was part of the cultural boycott of Israel. That boycott, in turn, is part of the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign inspired by the sucessful campaign that overthrew apartheid in South Africa.

Quick video (50 sec) of protesters outside the Verizon Center as the Maccabees played the Wizards

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Protesters march around World Bank after Civil Society walkout

On the 11th of October, opponents of the World Bank’s roles as a global loan shark to predatory governments and corporations rallied in Murrow Park and marched all the way around the Fall meetings. This came after civil society groups from Ethiopia walked out of a meeting with the World Bank due to their reversal on a promise to strengthen environmental protections . Ethiopian groups also condemned the funding of dictatorship in their country, and other groups condemned loans to nations that execute or persecute GLBT people, loans for coal burning power plants that contaminate crops, and the rest of the toxic mix of predatory “development” programs the World Bank funds. “Scabby” the Rat was on display to showcase the World Bank’s total lack of protections for labor on their projects.

Protesters specifically called out World Bank president Dr Kim as a liar, protraying him with a Pinnochio nose that grows as he tells more lies. The previous day, a press release was issued by someone claiming to be the World Bank, saying the World Bank would abolish themselves as a necessary part of their claimed goal of abolishing poverty by 2030. Today the World Bank is disclaiming authorship of that press release. Activists said during the Oct 10 (Rev Billy) march on the World Bank that it appears that the World Bank and IMF intend to “abolish poverty” by ensuring that all poor people are killed or displaced.

Video of the march

Marching around the Fall meetings of the IMF and World Bank as the World Bank meets in their HQ

Scabby the Rat calls out labor abuses and lack of protections on World Bank funded projects

Some of the countries where governments or associated militias kills GLBT folks and still get World Bank money for their projects

World Bank president Dr Kim callled out as a liar, shown here with a Pinnochio nose that grows every time his lips move

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Rev Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping lead march on World Bank

On the 10th of October, Rev Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir led a funeral march on the Fall Meetings of the IMF and World Bank, The march went to a delegate entrance checkpoint to the World Bank, where a mock funeral for the Bank was staged as people from South Asia and Africa reminded those inside just how much damage the Bank’s programs had done to their countries.

They specifically called out World Bank delegates who claimed the protests were only meant to be “sexy” for having little grip on reality, saying there is nothing “sexy” about people having their land forcibly taken away, and nothing “sexy” about having to stand in the rain and sing and yell at a gray office building to object to it.

Video Highlights of World Vs Bank march and street theater

Same video in full 1080p quality, download if you have a slow connection or computer

The march on the way to the World Bank

Rev Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir

Walkway to checkpoint tent with protesters in it

Protesters at the entrance to the buiilding

The overall scene outside the World Bank

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Pa residents challenge EPA officials to drink fracked well water, bags searched at Metro in response

On the 10th of October, anti-fracking activists and a resident of Dimock county in Pennsylvania challenged EPA officials to drink from either of two samples of discolored, contaminated well water from a fracking-damaged well. The response they got was the expected and understood refusal to drink the water, and an acceptance by an EPA official of their petitions. Meanwhile, the EPA building behind them was guarded by a counted 20+ cops-and bag searches at the Metro station entrance there. As soon as the protest ended, the DHS bag search checkpoint was withdrawn from the Metro station

Perhaps the bag searches were because the EPA had previously identified the main contaminent in this well water as uranium? They said the water was “safe to drink” yet told a neighbor not to even use it to bathe their children. I guess the idea of uranium entering the EPA’s headquarters even as part of a sample of contaminated drinking water is enough to draw a full-on “terrorism” scare, given the blunt “anti-terrorism” labels on the body armor worn by the DHS cops. Why is it OK for water to come out of someone’s well that is considered a terrorist emergency if even one drop gets on the Metro, much less inside a Federal building? Why are the gas frackers not called terrorists for putting uranium in well water that may be consumed by children?

Video-offering the “frackwater challenge” to drink the contaminated well water

Offering a drink of fracked well water to an EPA official

Don’t frack on me!

DHS cops from the Metro bag search checkpoint that was withdrawn moments after the protest ended.

That’s a frack of a lot of cops outside EPA’s doors!

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Hundreds ride in October DC Bike Party

On the 8th of October, the usual several hundred riders (600+ is average) took to the streets of DC for the monthly bike party. A just past full moon was in the sky as the streets swarmed with cyclists, some in a Halloween theme.

Video highlights of the ride

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Ferguson Marchers shut down Georgetown

On the 4th of October, a Ferguson/Michael Brown solidarity protest marched through the streets of Georgetown, shutting down Penn ave, M st, and Wisconsin Ave. Normally busy Georgetown streets were shut down as marchers swarmed between the cars and blocked Wisconsin and M, Wisconsin and N, and other key intersections.

Video of the march on Georgetown

Wisconsin and M st shut down to protest the shooting of Michael Brown-and at least 20 police shootings in DC

Marching between lines of cars

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