Several thousand protestors gathered in Washington, DC, under an umbrella organization known as Mobilization for Global Justice in an attempt to disrupt the annual spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  Six Vassar students were among the 600 activists arrested by police in a preemptive move on April 15.  Detained for varying periods in several sites, many of the protestors were released after paying $50 fines for parading without a permit.  One of the Vassar protestors, a junior, told The Miscellany News, “All my pins were taken off and put in a bag.  I guess they thought I could use them as weapons.  They put plastic handcuffs on us and loaded us onto buses.” He paid the fine, he said, because he didn’t want to go to court.  Another of the Vassar protestors, a senior, said she was not fined and was released for no clear reason.  “It was random as far as I know,” she said.  “They told me that they didn’t have any papers on me and let me go.  The people who waited in jail longer were more likely to have their charges dropped.” 

Three of the students, held overnight at a police training academy, had the restraints behind their backs removed and instead spent the night with their arms and legs cuffed together.  “It was kind of dehumanizing,” said one of the students, “but it was actually more comfortable because we got to change the positions that we’d been in for the previous several hours.”  “ I do feel,” she added, “that being in handcuffs all night was a minor form of torture…. The arrests were a way to infringe on our constitutional right to protest.”  The students planned to join a class-action lawsuit being brought, charging infringement of their rights of freedom of assembly.     The Miscellany News