Court lifts ban on anti-IMF demonstration

PRAGUE, May 17, 2000 -- (CTK) The Prague City Court today cancelled a ruling by the Prague 2 Municipal Council banning a demonstration against globalization at Prague's namesti Miru on September 25.

Organizers have made it clear that the protest action will be targeted against the IMF and the World Bank whose annual session is scheduled in Prague for late September.

The Municipal Council had no legal reason to ban the demonstration against globalization, the Court ruled. There is no appeal against the decision.

The Municipal Council had explained the ban with a fear that the demonstrators might damage public green vegetation and traffic. However, the court ruled that this was not sufficient reason for the ban.

About 18,000 official guests have been invited to the IMF and World Bank session in Prague. About 20,000 opponents of globalization are expected to stage an "anti-summit" at the same time.

The Prague police will be reinforced by about 5,000 men from special units.

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