April 2000 IMF Mass False Arrests

  • Background

    Settled:     The plaintiffs and the District of Columbia have reached a settlement of the case.

    The Partnership for Civil Justice advanced a class action complaint against the Government for violations of protestors' rights at the April, 2000 Spring joint meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

    This lawsuit challenged the disruption efforts of law enforcement against constitutionally protected First Amendment activities and mass political protest, and the unconstitutional trap and arrest tactics of law enforcement in the District of Columbia against mass assembly. The class portion of the Complaint was filed on behalf of nearly 700 protesters, journalists, tourists and bystanders who were trapped on all sides by police and then falsely arrested in an unconstitutional sweep of the streets during a demonstration against the Prison-Industrial Complex on Saturday April 15, 2000. The arrests were made in advance of days of anticipated protests, and were calculated to disrupt First Amendment protected activity. Many arrestees were put in preventive detention overnight, hogtied ankle to wrist, in harsh conditions as described in further detail in the Complaint.

    Other claims in this litigation related to the unconstitutional raid and closure of activists’ meeting hall (the Convergence Center), as well as brutal beatings.

  • Legal Information

    Becker, et al. v. District of Columbia, et al.
    U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
    01-CV-811 (Class Action)
  • Press Coverage

    Huffington Post: D.C. Police Take A Progressive Approach To Protests. It Wasn't Always That Way.

    But the current approach that D.C. police take toward protests did not come about on its own. Instead, the more relaxed attitude is the result of investigations and litigation that came about after the Metropolitan Police Department employed a heavy-handed approach to various protests in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    U.S. Federal Judge Lauds "Historic" Settlement

    Issuing final approval to a class action settlement, U.S. Federal Judge Paul Friedman described the terms of settlement of a nearly decade-long protest arrest lawsuit in Washington, D.C., as "historic" and an achievement for "future generations.

    D.C. agrees to $13.7 million settlement in 2000 mass arrest

    A federal judge gave final approval Wednesday to a $13.7 million settlement between the District and people who were picked up in a mass arrest during a 2000 protest near the World Bank and International Monetary Fund buildings.

    City to Settle Mass Arrest Class Action for $13.7 Million

    The District of Columbia has agreed to pay $13.7 million to settle a class action suit brought by protesters arrested during a demonstration in 2000, lawyers in the case announced at court today. Lawyers for the protesters said it would be the largest amount ever paid in the U.