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"As the clock struck midnight and the celebrations began to kick off the year 2000 we were standing in a circle holding hands and praying outside of the office of the IMF."
- Barry Cardinal

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USA

A powerful New Year's Eve in Washington
by Barry Cardinal, 30, Cree Indian Nation, Alberta, Canada
Jan 20, 2000

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    Editor's note: Barry travelled to Washington D.C. from midwest USA, where he currently resides and is an activist for the Indian rights in the Black Hills area, South Dakota. Barry states that the concept of the Mother Earth and the preservation and citizenship of it is more significant to him than being either an 'American' or 'Canadian'.

As the wind bounced off the canyon walls of the office buildings of downtown Washington DC, a shiver went through our bodies not just from the cool air but by remembering the people who are suffering in other parts of the world due to the mass debt their countries were in as a result of IMF (International Monetary Fund) policies.

"The IMF is like a collection agency.. it loans money but it also puts restrictions on these already struggling countries, like cuts to health and education, furthering the spiral into poverty.", said Anita Fast, the coordinator of the new years protest.

The dozen or so people who were there to be witness and to raise the awareness of this global welfare agency came from all parts of North America and Asia. As the clock struck midnight and the celebrations began to kick off the year 2000 we were standing in a circle holding hands and praying outside of the office of the IMF. It was a powerful and moving experience.

My name is Barry Cardinal from the 'Cree' North American Indian Nation in Alberta, Canada. I hadn't known too much about the IMF before I came here to be a part of this gathering and now my awareness of it has grown. I too come from a nation of people who were and continue to be exploited in their homelands because of greed for profit.

Some of the other participants who were there were members of the CPT(Christian peacemaker teams) CPT is an orginization that works in violence reduction in areas of conflict here in North America and in other parts of the world.

As we welcome the new millenium we must work to end unnecessary suffering of the people around the world. Real people of different faiths and cultures must unite to work for the betterment of our human race. Also as an obligation to our creator we must unite and stop the destruction of our Mother Earth, for without our mother who gives us life we will cease to exist.

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