"From Engagement to Protest"
A Public Forum on Citizens' Challenges to the World Bank
Washington, DC
 18 and 19 April 2002


Organized by 
The Structural Adjustment Participatory Review International Network (SAPRIN) 
The Development GAP 
The 50 Years Is Enough Network 
International Rivers Network

with the support of 
 SAPRIN, ActionAid and the Heinrich Boell Foundation

Please join more than two dozen activists from the South and North as they demonstrate, through case analysis, the intransigence of the World Bank -- and the governments that control it -- on the most critical economic and development policies facing the global community.

Over the course of the past year, the Bank's leadership has sought to debunk street protests against its policies and corporate globalization generally by calling on protesters to join with organizations that have "constructively engaged" the Bank in an effort to create change. The intent has obviously been to divide and discredit popular movements for economic justice.

The reality is that the Bank's engagement with civil society has not been constructive. In major initiatives such as the Structural Adjustment Participatory Review, the World Commission on Dams, and "Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers" (PRSPs: the new vehicle for structural adjustment programs), civil-society participants have found the Bank's pledge of cooperation disingenuous. In these much-publicized programs, the World Bank has consistently failed to honor its commitments.

"From Engagement to Protest" will be a unique forum featuring speakers from around the world who represent organizations and networks that have sought to effect change both by engaging the Bank and through more direct challenges. While their methods have been varied, the different groups are united in calling for continued pressure on the Bank and the other global financial institutions and their government and corporate constituencies through activism, citizen mobilization and public protest in both the South and North.

The forum will open at 2:00pm on Thursday, 18 April, at a comfortable and conveniently located new conference site, with a provocative BBC film on structural adjustment in Ghana. It will be followed by presentations by SAPRIN representatives from five continents of the results of the on-the-ground joint assessment with the World Bank of the devastating consequences of Bank-promoted adjustment policies - and the Bank's attempts to disown those findings. Thursday's program will end with a reception, and Friday's will feature the presentation of a full array of citizens' initiatives and ample opportunity for audience participation and discussion. The forum will conclude with presentations from the South and North on mobilization and protest and a public discussion of strategies for meaningful change. Please see the accompanying program for details.

Location: The Rosslyn Spectrum, 1611 North Kent Street, Rosslyn 
                   A 3-min. walk (follow the signs) from the Rosslyn Metro 
                  (one stop from Foggy Bottom) on the Blue and Orange Lines

Dates: Thursday, 18 April, 2:00pm - 5:30pm, followed by a Reception 
              Friday, 19 April, 8:45am - 5:30pm

To reserve an English-Spanish interpretation headset, send a message with name, organization and contact information to: rsvp@saprin.org.  For answers to general questions about the forum: secretariat@saprin.org

Please mark these dates on your calendar and circulate this announcement.  More details about the event will be available on the following web sites:

SAPRIN: www.saprin.org
The Development GAP: www.developmentgap.org
50 Years Is Enough Network: 
International Rivers Network:

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