Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW students join NY protesters; several possibly arrested

Roughly 30 UW-Madison students were among the thousands of protesters who rallied against the World Economic Forum in New York City this weekend.

The protests, which remained peaceful for most of Friday and Saturday, escalated late Sunday. Police said over 150 people were arrested during the weekend, mostly for disorderly conduct in two separate demonstrations.

Gene Marshall, a member of Madison anti-globalization group Mad at the Bank, said Sunday’s protests were tamer but just as effective as previous, more violent anti-globalization rally efforts in Seattle and Genoa.

“The only things people got arrested for were sitting in intersections and other peaceful civil disobedience, Martin Luther King and Ghandi style,” he said.

Two 15-member groups of protesters joined the peaceful protest efforts with good intentions, said Marshall. A group of composed of mostly student UW Green members left in busses Friday to join the first group that departed in the middle of last week and included student-members of Mad at the Bank, ISO and Left Turn.

At least two UW students were among those arrested for demonstrating, according to Raul Islas, who was in the UW-Greens info shop office Sunday and received a phone call from New York regarding the arrests.

“Students were arrested; we are just scrambling to find out who it might have been,” Islas, a member of Student Labor Action Coalition, said.

The bulk of arrests occurred in Greenwich Village, where roughly 80 protesters were lying down in the street and blocking traffic, police said.

But most of the picketing and chanting by socialists, anarchists and anti-globalization ralliers had nonviolent means. The UW students traveled with first-aid kits and gas masks to use in case of police use of tear gas, but no weapons or means of aggression, Marshall said.

“Even the news emphasized how comparatively peaceful but effective these protesters were — even the cops were shown joking around,” Marshall said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the rallies on the New York streets clashed less than he expected.

“Given the number of people that we’ve had come to New York to visit us this weekend, we’ve had a very small number of arrests,” said New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The chants from outside the meeting stirred some debate in the carpeted halls of the Waldorf as many delegates expressed deep concern about a globalizing world.

Merrill Lynch chief executive David Komansky said he could understand and sympathize with some of what the protesters were arguing. He said he had witnessed first-hand the pain that could accompany the transition of an inefficient state-run company into an efficient market-based enterprise.

“Some of the activities we engage in put you in a position where you can truly understand some of their points of view,” he said.

Rolf-Ernst Breuer, the head of Germany’s Deutsche Bank, said companies had to pay more attention than ever before to their role as good corporate citizens.

“Today, much more than in former times, the chief executive is in charge of corporate citizenship,” he said.

Many delegates have said that globalization is at risk if rich nations — particularly the United States and European nations — fail to dismantle the subsidies that deny poor nations full access to their steel, textile and agricultural markets.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson told business and political leaders at the fourth day of the World Economic Forum that they face a key challenge — empowering the common citizen in the globalization process.

“We need to move toward a more ethical globalization and find a way to have civic democracy on an international level,” she said.

Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey referred to the recent collapse of Enron, saying the fall of the energy trading giant raised fundamental questions about honesty and accountability within capitalism.
“There’s a big question mark over capitalism today. It’s one word and it’s Enron,” he said. “And what is that challenge? Capitalism has to act within boundaries.”

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