Because Nothing Hurts the IMF More Than Destroying Property in Long-Blighted Neighborhoods

I was walking to the neighborhood hardware store Saturday morning when I noticed that the two little bank branches across the street had had their windows bashed in. "Wha happen?" I asked one of D.C.'s finest.

"IMF protesters," she replied.

Jigga-what??

Protesting the International Monetary Fund by smashing up and spray-painting a PNC bank and Wachovia branch in Logan Circle a mile and a half away is roughly akin to registering your dissatifaction with a New York Stock Exchange meeting on Wall Street by urinating on some Greenwich Village ATMs.

Actually, it's even worse: Considering that some of the deadliest urban riots in United States history were epicentered just five blocks north up 14th St., and that the neighborhood is only now getting around to coming back, demonstrating against the IMF by creating a plywood-on-window-frames situation in an area that has long suffered from violence and blight is like...uh, fighting the rich by kicking a bum? Protesting the pope by slapping a Muslim? I confess that, unlike Tea Party-hater Marc Cooper, I have never much understood, let alone championed, the anti-globalization protesters that have been dogging IMF/World Bank meetings for more than a decade now.

Washington Post round-up here. Reason on the Seattle and post-Seattle protests here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Protesters like to protest. The cause is irrelevant. And smashing windows is fun (just watch Bonnie and Clyde).

  • Alfred||

    Some men can't be bought or reasoned with. Some men simply want to watch the world burn.

  • Xeones||

    For some people, wanton destruction is a bug in the ideology; for others, it's a feature.

    Fuck these idiots, yo.

  • Xeones||

    Ha! Three comments that all say pretty much the same thing. reason got a zeitgeist, yo.

  • ||

    Some men can't be bought or reasoned with. Some men simply want to watch the world burn

    Same goes for the punk-ass kids who show up to riots like this.

    -jcr

  • ||

    They are just scum. Ignorant scum. Imagine for a moment what the response by the media would be if some tea party protestors broke the windows on a post office? Then contrast that response to the media's nodding acceptance of this kind of crap.

  • ||

    They are only listening to those iPods manufactured abroad, wearing those clothes manufactured abroad and eating that food made from imported foodstuffs because they are forced to. They don't really want to.

  • phalkor||

    ...protesting bestiality by raping an infant?
    ...protesting _______ by _______?

    There have to be some mroe good ones.

  • Warty||

    Did the cop reply, "I can't do my work!"?

  • Colin||

    I'd be careful, guys -- they might come for you next.

    I doubt they look upon you with any greater love than Cato, whose windows they smashed last year.

  • High Every Body||

    You mean they are not just misunderstood and disenfranchised youth who only wish for fairness in the world?

    Shocking!

  • ||

    "I'd be careful, guys -- they might come for you next."

    I have a large weapons collection and none of them have ever been fired in anger. I seriously doubt I am living well enough to ever be granted the pleasure of picking off IMF protestor scum. But we can always hope I guess.

  • ||

    There have to be some mroe good ones.

    Protesting the growth of the state by voting for the Incumbent Party?

  • High Every Body||

    I'd be careful, guys -- they might come for you next.

    They will never find the secret commandpost at 3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
    Suite 400
    Los Angeles, CA 90034

    Nor the backup command post on Conn. Ave. near Dupont Circle. The Capitalist Cloaking Technology is just too powerful.

    Besides, the Cosmotarians never wear their top hats outside of the office anyway.

  • ||

    Look, people are stupid. Upon realization of that you can either wallow in despair or work to change it.

    Slate writer calls government-issued credit cards a "market-based solution."

    I choose to wallow.

  • ||

    Yo, fuck the prevailing zeitgeist.

  • Pat Rogers||

    "Actually, it's even worse: Considering that some of the deadliest urban riots in United States history were epicentered just five blocks north up 14th St."

    Buy a hint. Little enough has changed in that community that people are still inspired to violence against concentrated economic oppression. Attacking symbols and institutions of the perceived oppressors in poverty oppressed communities is not unheard of in history. You might even say its epicenter in modern history can be found in the U.S. Revolution.

    That this attack happened within spitting distance of a neighborhood with a history of violent reactions to the oppression of poverty should give pause to the gravity of the economic upheaval in our national capital, in this country and around the world.

  • ||

    They are only listening to those iPods manufactured abroad, wearing those clothes manufactured abroad and eating that food made from imported foodstuffs because they are forced to. They don't really want to.

    It's all because Reagan destroyed the middle class! Those kids all want
    to work in factories, but we don't make ANYTHING in this country anymore.

  • Warty||

    Fuck yeah, Pat! Keep it coming!

  • ||

    Little enough has changed in that community that people are still inspired to violence against concentrated economic oppression.

    Would that be people who live there are busting up businesses, or people from outside? I think, at least for your thesis, that it matters.

    Attacking symbols and institutions of the perceived oppressors in poverty oppressed communities is not unheard of in history. You might even say its epicenter in modern history can be found in the U.S. Revolution.

    I'm interested in your idea that the US Revolution contained any instances of attacking the British in "poverty oppressed communities." Examples?

    Equally welcome would be examples where attacking perceived oppressors in poverty oppressed communities has led to constructive change and an improvement in the standard of living of residents of said communities.

  • ||

    That this attack happened within spitting distance of a neighborhood with a history of violent reactions to the oppression of poverty should give pause to the gravity of the economic upheaval in our national capital, in this country and around the world.

    I'd run this through Google Translator, but I don't think it would help.

  • ||

    P Brooks,

    These people got their degrees from hate studies programs where book learning isn't really that valued.

  • Anonymous||

    Reasoning has nothing to do with it. This is a show of power: "you can't stop me from shitting in my own dog house". That will show those greedy capitalists that make me lazy and shiftless with their plasma screens and prescription mood enhancers.

  • ||

    I asked my liberal wife this morning, after reading about these idiots, "Do you know what it is exactly these pencil necks are protesting against?"

    She had no idea. Neither do I.

    I do love the name of the one of the .orgs that organized the protests: Global Justice Action. I smell the next Captain Planet cartoon characters coming on.

  • Glistening Lamb\'s Marrow||

    "I have never much understood, let alone championed, the anti-globalization protesters that have been dogging IMF/World Bank meetings for more than a decade now."

    It's all about getting laid.

  • ||

    I'd run this through Google Translator, but I don't think it would help.

    Does Babelfish do pomo-to-English?

  • ||

    Excuse me, I speak Jive. There are two possible translations:

    1. When can oppression frown a clique? A correspondence scratches revolution. The twist fudges without the smell! The inhabitant eases revolution within a unobtainable romantic. Whatever upgrade swallows without another undesirable.

    2. Inside the mummy flowers a growing sunrise. Oppression comprises revolution before a correct lion. A dominating lark waits for oppression within an orchestra. After an acquired inheritance grows an exact silicon. Revolution strains below oppression. Revolution contents any downstairs freedom.

  • ||

    "Revolution strains below oppression. Revolution contents any downstairs freedom."

    That almost sounds like something. Virtually almost.

  • ||

    #2, definitely, #2. Not surprisingly, it makes about as much sense.

  • High Every Body||

    These people got their degrees from hate women's servitude awareness studies programs where book learning burning isn't really that valued.

    That took a bit o' fixin'

  • Pat Rogers||

    I know better than to attempt reasoned conversation with the majority of the participants who control this forum. All too often its an exercise in intellectual circle jerks that have nothing to do with anything except to rationalize the absolute liberty of every man's right to predatory inhumanity toward everyone else.

    There is no interest in me in playing that game.

  • ||

    We prefer that predatory inhumanity be distributed among people where it can do less damage rather than concentrated in the government.

    Power keeps getting wielded in the name of the poor, the weak, and the otherwise "disenfranchised", but I don't see anyone's plight getting better from more redistribution of wealth or fewer limits on government power.

    What has helped the poor in some countries are things like rule of law, limited government, free markets, and most especially the technological progress that has occurred as a result of those developments.

  • ||

    "I know better than to attempt reasoned conversation with the majority of the participants who control this forum. All too often its an exercise in intellectual circle jerks that have nothing to do with anything except to rationalize the absolute liberty of every man's right to predatory inhumanity toward everyone else."

    So that makes it ok to bust out someone else's windows? That makes it ok to destroy other people's stuff? I wasn't aware that destroying property that didn't belong to you was a way to stop preditory inhumanity, whatever that means.

  • ||

    I know better than to attempt reasoned conversation with the majority of the participants who control this forum.

    Oh, c'mon, I asked a couple of pretty straightforward and civil (albeit skeptical) questions.

    All too often its an exercise in intellectual circle jerks that have nothing to do with anything except to rationalize the absolute liberty of every man's right to predatory inhumanity toward everyone else.

    See, what the libertarian regulars here are trying to do is point out how its the state that assets a right of predatory inhumanity toward everyone else. I mean, when it comes to predatory inhumanity, the state pretty much owns the franchise, no?

  • Reformed Republican||

    They are just doing their part to stimulate the economy by breaking windows.

  • ||

    I know better than to attempt reasoned conversation with the majority of the participants who control this forum. All too often its an exercise in intellectual circle jerks that have nothing to do with anything except to rationalize the absolute liberty of every man's right to predatory inhumanity toward everyone else.

    There is no interest in me in playing that game.
    I'm a douche.

    FTFY.

  • ||

    All too often its an exercise in intellectual circle jerks that have nothing to do with anything except to rationalize the absolute liberty of every man's right to predatory inhumanity toward everyone else.

    Do you *really* think that was the intent of the vandals? That pretty much covers it regardless.

    Anyhoo, I don't think we're the ones jerking around the rationalizations.

  • ||

    I know better than to attempt reasoned conversation

    I'm putting this one in the drink bank.

  • JB||

    They are stupid neo-hippies that come in from the suburbs when mommmy and daddy let them out of the house.

    I wouldn't mind seeing them get baseball bats taken to their faces. Pulp these fuckers.

  • ||

    Revolution strains below oppression.

    That sounds Marxist. I'm putting you on a terror watch list White House speechwriting team.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Is it just me, or is Pat not really saying anything at all?

    Let me translate his first paragraph:

    "The neighborhood is still poor. People lash out at misperceptions. Our Founding Fathers did this.

    We should think about the fact that this happened in a poor black neighborhood"

    Wow, thanks for that deep intellectual thought, Pat. Jesus Christ, can you come back when you get out of your freshman year of college?

  • ||

    "Actually, it's even worse: Considering that some of the deadliest urban riots in United States history were epicentered just five blocks north up 14th St."

    Buy a hint. Little enough has changed in that community that people are still inspired to violence against concentrated economic oppression. Attacking symbols and institutions of the perceived oppressors in poverty oppressed communities is not unheard of in history. You might even say its epicenter in modern history can be found in the U.S. Revolution.



    You are cordially invited to my hometown. We'll take a walk down 12th Street Rosa Parks Boulevard and you can pont out all of the positves that come with trashing a poor neighborhood. Like the fact that there are no globalization type businesses in sight. No banks, no factories, not even a Tim Horton's. Hell there are no businesses in sight.

    Fucking dumbass.

  • Warty||

    There is no interest in me in playing that game.

    The passive voice usage was infuriating in this sentence that was written by Pat that was read by me.

  • High Every Body||

    Pat arrives and vanishes in a puff of joe.

  • ||

    I know better than to attempt reasoned conversation with the majority of the participants who control this forum.

    So you admit your original comment was not reasonable? I agree.

  • ||

    Sweet, HEB.

  • ||

    I know better than to attempt reasoned conversation with the majority of the participants who control this forum.

    Pat, you seem to be under the misapprehension that someone controls this forum. If that were the case, then wouldn't you have expected your snotty posturing to have been deleted?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Yeah! And, my vile response to your snotty posturing would have also been deleted.

  • ||

    Pat, you seem to be under the misapprehension that someone controls this forum. If that were the case, then wouldn't you have expected your snotty posturing to have been deleted?

    Back in the Cavanaugh era, maybe...

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "I know better than to attempt reasoned conversation with the majority of the participants who control this forum."

    Talk about towin' the lion! Ow! Pat had half a point, somewhere, but s/he lost it down the stretch.

  • ||

    There is no interest in me in playing that game.

    Not until you learn to construct a coherent sentence, anyway.

  • ||

    Alan,

    It's not "towin' the lion", it's "Oppression comprises revolution before a correct lion."

  • OO===D||

    "Back in the Cavanaugh era, maybe..."

    Man, that guy sucked a big load.

  • Xeones||

    the absolute liberty of every man's right to predatory inhumanity toward everyone else.

    Not to pile on any further, though lord knows Pat asked for it, but: what is with the lefty types who don't get the whole force/fraud aspect of libertarian thought? It's wrong for you to coerce me, and it's just as wrong for me to coerce you. Our problem is not with whoever has the power, but with the fact that the power exists. Fuck Pat and everyone who thinks like him/her, yo. They're a pretty huge part of the reason everything sucks.

  • ||

    They're a pretty huge part of the reason everything sucks.

    Drink?

  • ||

    While I love nothing more than kicking a man while he's down, please stop picking on Pat.

    Here's Pat's world view:

    Little enough has changed in that community that people are still inspired to violence against concentrated economic oppression.

    Pat thinks that people are poor due to "concentrated economic oppression." You know, the top hat and monocle crowd has waged war on the poor for centuries, cruelly tricking them into getting pregnant at fifteen and dropping out of high school in 8th grade. He's part of the CAPITALIST TRUTH movement. Making fun of him is just mean, like hiding a retard's cake.

  • Anonymous||

    what is with the lefty types who don't get the whole force/fraud aspect of libertarian thought? It's wrong for you to coerce me, and it's just as wrong for me to coerce you. Our problem is not with whoever has the power, but with the fact that the power exists.

    To put it insufficiently terse: if one assumes that, as person in a collective of others, the collective owes you a debt for the worth and suffering of your life -- that which you can't have controlled (because you didn't exist yet) -- then the only reasonable social configuration is a pure Democracy which is politically ruled, socially lead, and economically managed by the efficient incarnation of the collective will in the form of a benevolent dictator.

    Of course, the problem with these ideas are always misidentified on purpose in order to allow them ways to continue. It's not that people are greedy, and if they voted unselfishly democracy would work. It's not that the wrong people are in charge, and if the right ones were then government would be used "properly". It's the idea that a collective decision carries any moral or even practical weight, and that the government must be used as the tool to destroy society in order to recreate it according to the collective's current whims.

  • Xeones||

    To put it insufficiently terse: etc.

    Yep.

  • ||

    I wasn't aware that destroying property that didn't belong to you was a way to stop preditory inhumanity, whatever that means.

    I don't think Pat got the irony of protesting 'predatory inhumanity' by smashing up someone else's property.

    In fact, I don't think the entire left really gets the irony of protesting "oppression" by lining people up against walls and shooting them.

    It's like rioting at an anti-war protest.

  • T||

    the government must be used as the tool to destroy society in order to recreate it according to the collective's current whims

    Didn't we try that in Viet Nam during Operation Cedar Rapids? "It was necessary to destroy the village in order to save it." I don't recall that working out so well back then, either.

  • jtuf||

    I was at George Washington University when anti-globalization activists protested the World Bank. They tore up our campus shrubbery and spray painted our math building.

  • Xeones||

    Think globally, act like a raging dickweed locally!

  • ||

    Think globally; kill locally!

  • Oat Willie||

    "They tore up our campus shrubbery..."


    Shrubbery?

    The Knights Who Say Nee would probably like a word with them.

    As someone who had his car window smashed for sporting a Ron Paul '08 sticker, I'm getting a kick out of the comments.

  • T||

    Think globally, act like a raging dickweed locally!

    We look to you to show us the way, X.

  • Anonymous||

    Yep.



    I was actually trying to cajole somebody in explaining it back to me in a better way, but I'll take what I can get.

  • Retard||

    "Making fun of him is just mean, like hiding a retard's cake."

    There's cake?

  • ||

    There's always cake, Jimmy.

  • High Every Body||

    Didn't we try that in Viet Nam during Operation Cedar Rapids? "It was necessary to destroy the village in order to save it."

    Ah, a famous made-up quote by a "reporter" who finally managed to get fired from CNN because his fabrications got too much for that excuse of a news outlet to keep him around.

  • ||

    Think globally! Loot locally!

  • High Every Body||

    PB FTW

  • ||

    The cake is a lie

  • ||

    the government must be used as the tool to destroy society in order to recreate it according to the collective's current whims.

    They usually only make it past the "destroying society" part, and then things start to go wrong.

  • libtard||

    They usually only make it past the "destroying society" part, and then things start to go wrong CAKE IS SERVED!!!

  • ||

    Protesters of IMF and WTO etc. interest me in a curious way. Although I do not condone the violence, I agree with their sentiment, but for vastly different reasons than they profess. They are dead wrong on two counts and in this case two wrongs make a right.

    Firstly, they think free trade is a bad thing. Wrong. Secondly, they think IMF and WTO actually stand for free trade. Wrong again. There's nothing free about the trade they so closely regulate.

    So I say protest on. Just cool it on the violence.

  • Xeones||

    We look to you to show us the way, X.

    I'm not much for anti-globalism protests myself, T. But maybe you could hang out in Logan Circle and pick up some pointers from the locals.

    As someone who had his car window smashed for sporting a Ron Paul '08 sticker, I'm getting a kick out of the comments.

    In certain parts of my hometown, Obama supporters celebrated election night by smashing cars with McCain stickers on them, and beating the shit out of people wearing visible Republican paraphernalia. AFTER their dude won.

  • </||

    In certain parts of my hometown, Obama supporters celebrated election night by smashing cars with McCain stickers on them, and beating the shit out of people wearing visible Republican paraphernalia. AFTER their dude won.

    badspeak be goodtouched or my power be not utilized and what not

  • T||

    Ah, a famous made-up quote by a "reporter" who finally managed to get fired from CNN because his fabrications got too much for that excuse of a news outlet to keep him around.

    Yeah, the quote is bullshit but the villages were damn sure destroyed all the same. And it was Operation Cedar Falls. I misremembered.

    I'm not much for anti-globalism protests myself, T. But maybe you could hang out in Logan Circle and pick up some pointers from the locals.

    Meh. Smashed windows. Amateur night. If the building ain't on fire and partially collapsed when you leave, you're doing it wrong.

  • engineer||

    "They are just scum. Ignorant scum. Imagine for a moment what the response by the media would be if some tea party protestors broke the windows on a post office?"

    But TEH TEABAGGERS are the forces of reaction against progress! But these IMF protesters are just showing passion in their fight against their global capitulist opressorz!
    YEAH!

  • engineer||

    "In certain parts of my hometown, Obama supporters celebrated election night by smashing cars with McCain stickers on them, and beating the shit out of people wearing visible Republican paraphernalia. AFTER their dude won."
    Well, duh, it's not like he's going to punish his loyal supporters. Plus, a lot of them were probably drunk and/or high to begin with.

  • engineer (evil lefty alternate||

    "What is with the lefty types who don't get the whole force/fraud aspect of libertarian thought?"
    It makes their brains hurt with needle-like stabs of pain. You're not allowed to say "to each his own". You're either with us or against us!

  • engineer (evil righty alternat||

    Yeah, you're either with us or against us!

  • engineer||

    "I know better than to attempt reasoned conversation with the majority of the participants who control this forum."

    Given that every other day a lefty shows up to call this the libertarian echo chamber, I really think we should add it to the drinking game.

  • engineer||

    "Little enough has changed in that community that people are still inspired to violence against concentrated economic oppression."

    Except for the fact that half of all IMF protestors are spoiled upper-middle-class white kids who think that "The Man" is forcing them to grow up. Most of them don't live in that neighborhood. And how exactly does inhibiting economic activity in a neighborhood by destroying property there help anybody?

  • engineer||

    "As someone who had his car window smashed for sporting a Ron Paul '08 sticker, I'm getting a kick out of the comments."

    It's especially galling when you're the one who ends up on the terrorist watch list.

  • Oat Willie||

    "In certain parts of my hometown, Obama supporters celebrated election night by smashing cars with McCain stickers on them, and beating the shit out of people wearing visible Republican paraphernalia. AFTER their dude won."

    "badspeak be goodtouched or my power be not utilized and what not."


    Thanks for the lol, I needed it.

  • ||

    What is with the very crude, inflamatory comments? So very few of the comments are reasoned, civil statements to be agreed or questioned with. I put in 30 years with the USN and some of the crudest of people and still do-not/cannot make such remarks with the sole purpose of irritating an opponent.

  • Anonymous||

    Mr Moore, I assume you're talking about the vandals who style themselves "protesters"?

  • Marc Cooper||

    Matt:

    I expect better reporting from you. One can disagree on policy issues without resorting to unfounded speculation about your opponent's broader views. If u want to accuse me of having some sympathy for those who oppose unregulated free markets (including globalized ones), I plead guilty. But your insinuation that I have any sympathy whatsoever with mindless vandals (operating in the name of whatever higher ideals) is patently false and unfounded. I am at a loss as to why you would make such an intellectually dishonest suggestion. Indeed, going back to the WTO protests of 1998 (for which I did express great sympathy) I unequivocally and publicly opposed any act of violence or property destruction. Indeed, I was one of the few writers on the left who-- from the onset of the anti-globalization movement-- chided anyone who apologized for such stupidity.

    I might also add one other count to which I plead guilty. Even at my ripe old age I maintain an open mind (which makes me shy of any rigid belief system whether it is embodied in narrow publications like The Nation or Reason, for that matter. All that to say, my political views have constantly evolved and shifted (and I hope matured) as I get older. And my current position on the anti-globalization movement in general, the IMF etc etc are not the same as a decade ago.

    Next time I see the cup of tea is on me. But in the meantime, if you wish to beat on straw men, please go ahead. I would expect no less from a dogmatic journal like Reason.

  • ||

    Not that this justifies smashing windows, but Logan Circle hasn't been a poor neighborhood, or even an upcoming neighborhood, for many years. Added to the fact that your post is based on a presumption that is false is the string of silly comments (especially silly was the guy hinting about using his weapons -- case in point why the sort of people who keep and bear arms tend to be the least qualified to do so) and the name of this magazine becomes highly subject to question.

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