D.C. protests raised questions

Posted: Thursday, May 11, 2000

I am a high school student with Alyeska Central School who just returned from Washington D.C., where I participated in a national program called Close Up. My group was in D.C. the week of the protests aimed at shutting down the meetings of the World Bank and IMF.

I began asking people what their opinion of the protests were and found that many people didn't know much. So, I picked up a newspaper and read the accounts of the protests.

I wasn't surprised, but I was upset with the way the protesters destroyed property and carried off cars. Maybe it wasn't as bad as Seattle. Still, they spoke of peace and compassion, yet didn't mind destroying people's property if it was ``for the cause.'' What happened to peaceful demonstrations aimed at making the public aware of their concerns and disgust? You don't have to destroy things to make a point.

I believe in helping poorer nations. I am appalled when funds meant for valuable causes are given and yet do little to relieve the hardships of their people. Also, it is common knowledge that where there is poverty there is also crime and revolution. So, aiding these counties is actually beneficial because there will be less involvement in the future. But is doing away with the World Bank and IMF really going to solve anything?

The original purpose for these organizations was credible, but eventually saw corruption. We need improvements. However, I'm not naive enough to think that this is simple, or that all the corruption will be stopped. The only way to get rid of corruption is to change people. Though we don't have a magic wand, we do have the power to get things done. Let's work together, keeping the goal of being more effective at helping people in mind.

Megan Wright Juneau

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