Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Anti-Globalization Protests Rock World
If the would-be masters of the Global Plantation have their way, millions of Americans will be unaware that globalization meetings elsewhere in the world are running into resistance from anti-internationalists and patriots.
For instance, hundreds of protesters clashed with police at the World Eco nomic Forum in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday, Sept. 11, just days from the opening of the Olympics in that country.
Five people were reportedly hurt and 200 delegates were prevented from atten ding the summit.
Meanwhile, according to foreign press reports, in the Czech Republic, authorities are "transforming the historic center of Prague into an armed camp" prior to a planned meeting of the International Mo netary Fund and World Bank (IMF/WB).
At one stage of the demonstrations in Melbourne, baton-wielding police charg ed at a group of protesters who were surrounding a car carrying Richard Court, premier of the Australian province of Western Australia. He was trapped in side for 40 minutes as the mob pounded on his car, slashed his tires and sprayed it with paint.
The activists waved banners accusing those attending the three-day (Sept. 11-13) summit of pursuing "Corporate Greed, Not Global Justice."
Australian Prime Minister John Howard told the summit, which is debating world trade:
"It is crucial to address the flagrant imbalance in international trade rules that favor most of the world's richest countries, including the U.S. and the EU [European Union], against efficient agricultural exporters, including Australia."
Meanwhile, in Prague, there are fears of widespread violence as an expected 50,000 protesters try to disrupt the IMF/WB meeting from Sept. 18-26.
Foreign press reports indicate the security operation will be the biggest since the Prague Spring of Premier Alexander Dubcek in 1968, which was crushed by Warsaw Pact forces. Re por tedly, 11,000 policemen will be deployed, with 5,000 army troops on standby.
According to the Czech Embassy in London, the British and American governments have warned citizens not to travel to the city, except on essential business.
Reporters on the scene say the winding streets and hidden courtyards of Prague -- which draw millions of tourists every year -- present a policing nightmare.
The Telegraph of London reported that senior Scotland Yard officers and FBI agents have visited the city to advise Czech police on tactics and to identify "known trouble-makers."
Foreign governments reportedly have fears about the competence of the Czech police force, which has a poor record with demonstrations. Much smaller past protests have caused chaos in the city, with accusations that police either stood by or overreacted.
Czech authorities have announced a radical package of measures aimed at thwarting the protesters, including specially trained anti-riot units that have spent weeks practicing at a former Soviet base. They will be equipped with riot shields, dogs and water-cannons.
The army has made trucks, armored cars and helicopters available to the police, with 200 drivers, pilots and me chanics. Zones where the 12,000 delegates will live and meet will be closed off to the public.
Meanwhile, anti-globalization groups, some of whom have had activists in Prague for weeks preparing for the demonstrations, have promised that there will be thousands of protesters in Prague and plan to lock delegates into their conference hall.
The event, called S23 by some groups, already has dozens of web sites devoted to it. Anti-globalization groups in Prague have provided accommodation and mobile phones.