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From the Hill District in Pittsburgh - where the real G20 Action is taking place

category international | anti-capitalism | feature author Saturday September 26, 2009 11:16author by Fionuala Cregan - Global Call for Action Against Poverty Report this post to the editors

featured image
Bail Out the People March, Sept. 20th
See: Bail Out People . org

While a self selected group of world leaders congregate behind a sea of security and police controls in downtown Pittsburgh, up in the Hill District a different kind of movement is beginning to be built.

When the hotel doorman asks if we are sure we really want to go up to the Hill District, we know that we are going to the right place. It is here, in the African American neighbourhood known as the Hills that the real G20 Pittsburgh summit action is taking place. This action is not the flying visit of 22 world leaders to discuss the financial crisis behind closed doors and at a cost of $10 million in security. Nor is it the long lines of police, army, border control and private security who have taken over the streets, out numbering civilians in downtown Pittsburgh. No. The real action, the peoples' voices, the people power, the peoples' strategising is happening right here in the Monumental Baptist Church and the Tent City which has been constructed around it by the Bail Out the People Movement and groups of the unemployed and homeless. It is here that people, from all over the world, have come together to demand to be heard. They have come together to denounce what they see as the The Hill District Consensus Group is one of those people. A leader in the struggle for housing, jobs, recreation spaces for young people in the Hill district, he says that the language used by the G20 and the media in their coverage of it may be complex and inaccessible to many but to his community, it is quite simple. “Elite groups such as the G20 are created to to remove all obstacles to profit. They come together, supported by multi national corporations, not just to make profit, but to maximise profit.”

It is within this context that according to Joseph Stigltz, one of the speakers at the event, a culture has been created in which banks have become “too big to fail” and in which “loss is socialised and gain is capitalised.” In other words, it has become accepted that tax payers' money can be used to bail out banks and shareholders, that people all over the world will lose their jobs and their homes while the banks and corporations responsible for the crisis can continue as before. This, according to Stiglitz, has been reflected in the policies and discourse of the G20 leaders over the last year as they have met to discuss the financial crisis. “What is needed first is a profound shift of discourse,” he says while highlighting that is not a financial crisis but a systemic crisis of de-investment in people and in housing, health and food.

The next step, according to , is to “Expand the Space.” A self selected club of the leaders of richer economies can not make decisions for a world of globalised economies, where the actions taken by the more powerful economies have an affect all over the world. “We all know by now that when rich folk come together what they do is cook up disaster,” she says, “We need an inclusive and participatory and democratically accountable G192, we need women around the table, we need sustainable solutions.”

The lack of different voices within the G20 and the framing of the crisis as a purely financial one has, according to participants in the event, been clearly reflected in the outcomes of the summits. Outrage is expressed at the “empowerment of deeply flawed financial insitutions” such as the International Monetary Fund which was granted $1.3 trillion dollars at the London G20 Summit in April. Bhumika Muchhala from the Third World Network who had been speaking at the launch of the Social Watch 2009 report earlier that day said “It is a truly horrifying that during the worst recession the world has faced since the 1950s, the most powerful nations in the world are empowering the coffers of everything that is flawed about the global economic system?” In terms of representation at the IMF, there is one representative for all 24 African countries while all members of the G8 have a representative each and the USA alone holds the power to veto any decisions made, she points out. While the G20 leaders committed to carrying out reform of the IMF, according to Bhumika, the fact that the money was handed over to the institution before any reform has taken place exposes a lack of any real commitment to bringing about this reform.

This is reiterated by Leo Gerard president and international president of the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) who has a clear message for G20 leaders “it is time to reform the financial system not re-establish it. Trickle down economic policies is a philosophy of greed that didn't work yesterday, doesn't work today and won't work in your meeting tomorrow.” he says.

But it's also clear to participants that the world can't wait for leaders to bring about change, that change comes about when people come together in spaces like this one. Change comes about through people power.

"There are angry people all over the world,” says Gerard, “In the United States there are 30 million people unemployed people. Lots of them don't know who to blame and so they listen to the media who tell them to blame the workers who have jobs, blame the immigrants who have 'taken our jobs,'or blame the workers in India, China or Mexico who are prepared to 'work for less'... It is up to us to re-channel that anger to the right place and build a mass global movement for change, a movement for jobs – green jobs – for health care and infrastructure. We know the money is there f, we have seen it, it is just that it has just been going to the wrong people.”

This is reiterated later on by Larry Holmes of the Bail Out the People's movement and one of the organisers of the various Marches For Jobs which have been taking place around the summit. “When we go out on the streets to march we have to remember we are not there as individuals,” he says, “millions of people from all over the world who couldn't afford to travel here to be with us but the struggles they are facing are the same. And so when we march we represent every single one of them. We represent women, we represent Chinese workers who are forbidden from joining a union, we represent the millions of children that go to bed hungry every night. We represent each and every one of those people and we are going to March for Change not just today but every single day until we have got what we want.”

Let the Marches begin.

Fionuala Cregan, Mobilisation Coordinator, Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP)

GCAPis a growing alliance that brings together trade unions, INGOs, the women’s and youth movements, community and faith groups and others to call for action from world leaders in the global North and South to meet their promises to end poverty and inequality. GCAP’s main aim is to achieve policy and practice changes that will improve the lives of people living in poverty.

www.whiteband.org

Bail Out the People
Bail Out the People

author by dunkpublication date Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:25Report this post to the editors

Failing capitalism, world crisis, banks robbing, deepening cop attack...
the new cop toy is a sound tank...

Democracy Now team were on the streets of pitsburgh, getting tear gassed, threathened with state violence and harm...

watch vid from the day of action
http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2009/9/25/steve

World leaders are gathering in Pittsburgh for the G20 summit under the shadow of a police crackdown on protesters in the streets. Heavily-armed riot police are out in force all over the city, using tear gas, stun grenades, smoke canisters, and sound cannons, which direct extremely loud shrill sounds. This is believed to be the first time sound cannons have been publicly used in the United States.


We remember the last G20 gathering in city of london, again with huge cop violence, even a death caught on camera. Thankfully from that more and more people are asking questions about the legitamacy of all these goings on, participating in expressions of anger and dissent on the street, imaging a better world and taking little steps to make that world...

G20 killing of London man
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/g20-police-assault-ian-tom...inson

Police riot notebooks reveal brutal use of shields against G20 protesters
G20 demonstrators cite Met evidence in high court to show that officers were given no restrictions on use of force
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/aug/23/g20-protests-i...olice

G20 Pitsburgh; This is what democracy looks like
G20 Pitsburgh; This is what democracy looks like

author by Andrew Lipscomb - Students for Peace and Justicepublication date Tue Sep 29, 2009 23:57author email lipscoma at colorado dot eduReport this post to the editors

At a point where I began to lighten up and feel more trusting of President Obama as a U.S. citizen, I can't help but look at him in disgust for his words (or lack thereof) regarding the use of police force at the G20 protests in Pittsburgh.

When I voted for Obama, I thought he was different, that he would make steps towards a more equal state of being in the U.S., that he would oppose dogmatic ideology and be in transparent question of his own actions and the actions of the U.S.. I remember how strongly Obama criticized the police and government actions taken against protesters in Iran, and the (if I recall correctly) cries for allowing the citizens of Iran to be heard and not silenced. Now being able to view videos of the protests in Pittsburgh and the horrible human rights abuses taking place in the country that I have hope for, only a stones throw away from the popular political figure who criticized the abuses of protesters in Iran, I am deeply saddened and angered that Obama has chosen not to speak out against the over-enforcing and destructive actions taken by police in Pittsburgh. To me Obama is now just another U.S. president, shilling the same old shit with a new wrapper, continuing the decades long tradition demonizing the Middle East, while looking at his own country with pride. His intentions, the reasons I voted for him rather than a third-party candidate I truly believed in, were lies, and I hoped for more. I feel betrayed and disappointed.

author by xpublication date Mon Oct 05, 2009 16:28Report this post to the editors

Anarchist arrested over Twitter use at G20
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/1005/122....html

A NEW YORK-BASED anarchist has been arrested by the FBI and charged with hindering prosecutions after he allegedly used the social networking site Twitter to help protesters at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh evade the police.

Elliot Madison (41), from Queens, had his home raided and was put on $30,000 (€21,000) bail after he and Michael Wallschlaeger (46) were tracked to the Carefree Inn motel in Pittsburgh during the summit on September 24th and 25th last.

The pair were found sitting in front of a bank of laptops and emergency frequency radio scanners. They were wearing headphones and microphones and had many maps and contact numbers.

Police documents allege the two men used Twitter messages “to inform the protesters and groups of the movements and actions of law enforcement”...


further on imc-dc ; http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/147773/index.php

G20 "Democracy Now" Coverage- Police Strike First
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EODR5mjJnFQ

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by xpublication date Wed Oct 07, 2009 08:36Report this post to the editors

Anti-IMF protests on the streets of Istanbul
http://www.euronews.net/2009/10/06/anti-imf-protests-on...nbul/

One dead during IMF protests in Turkey / PHOTO
http://www.worldbulletin.net/news_detail.php?id=48062

author by Mark Cpublication date Wed Oct 07, 2009 14:28Report this post to the editors

Elliot Madison was arrested last month during the G-20 protests in Pittsburgh when police raided his hotel room. Police say Madison and a co-defendant used computers and a radio scanner to track police movements and then passed on that information to protesters using cell phones and the social networking site Twitter. Madison is being charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility, and possession of instruments of crime. Exactly one week later, Madison’s New York home was raided by FBI agents, who conducted a sixteen-hour search. We speak to Elliot Madison and his attorney, Martin Stolar.

Related Link: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/10/6/twitter_crackdown...d_for
author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Fri Oct 09, 2009 00:09Report this post to the editors

I have read the article in details and had a call tonight relating to same.

The question I ask is: When you refer to 'we speak' to his Attorney - may I ask who are the 'we' you refer to? Is 'we' plural as in Indymedia and co or is it yourself, on a personal basis?

Michelle

author by wageslavepublication date Fri Oct 09, 2009 03:10Report this post to the editors

Michelle, I think the "We" refers to the journalists at democracy now where mark grabbed that text from and linked to in his comment.
They normally introduce each show with a summary of items they are going to cover in the program.
In that summary, they tend to use the royal "we".

Their site is informative and well worth a visit.

Also They have a great news show at 5pm weekdays on channel 200 ( controversial TV ) on sky tv ( or freeview satellite )

Watching it there may prove a little more convenient and use up less of your monthly ISP data allowance! :-)

author by xpublication date Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:41Report this post to the editors

DN! Twitter Crackdown (1): NYC Activist Arrested for Using Social Networking Site during G-20 Protest in Pittsburgh
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZpqL4lggGE

DN! Twitter Crackdown (2): NYC Activist Arrested for Using Social Networking Site during G-20 Protest in Pittsburgh
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpokByNQwCI

especially like their twitter rap

FOX 11 ANCHOR: Iranians are turning to social media websites like Twitter and Facebook to tell their stories.

UNIDENTIFIED: Twitter.

MARTIN SAVIDGE: Twitter.

UNIDENTIFIED: Twitter.

HOWARD KURTZ: Has Twitter become the CNN of the masses?

KIRAN CHETRY: Here’s what some people have been tweeting about.

SCOTT HURLEY: Just type in “#iranelection.”

The US State Department actually asked the website to put off scheduled computer maintenance.

IAN KELLY: This is about the Iranian people. This is about the—getting their voices a chance to be heard.

ISHA SESAY: More and more tweets were appearing.

UNIDENTIFIED: Twitter.

KEITH OLBERMANN: A Twitter revolution.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Is this the first true internet uprising?

RACHEL MADDOW: This revolution might not be televised, but it is definitely being tweeted.


other part from DN:

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And they may be the first to be charged criminally with sending information electronically to protesters about the police. What’s the significance of this in terms of First Amendment rights?

ELLIOT MADISON: We’re not—we’re not the first. We’re the first in this country. During the Twitter revolution going on in Iran, in Moldova, in Guatemala, in the earlier newscast about Honduras, in all those cases, repressive governments have arrested folks for using Twitter. The only difference is, in all those cases the State Department, the US State Department, has condemned the arrest of these Twitter activists and had gone so far in the Iranian situation, the State Department, according to an article, asked Twitter to postpone its regular maintenance so as not to interfere with Iranian protesters to be able to send out their tweets. So the only difference is we’re the first arrested here.


full transcript at; http://www.democracynow.org/2009/10/6/twitter_crackdown...d_for

_______________________________________________

COMMUNICATION WAR
more details on communication war here; http://www.politics.ie/foreign-affairs/77129-ahmadineja...03043

Deep Packet Inspection: Telecoms Aided Iran Government to Censor Internet, Technology Widely Used in U.S.
Cyber-web

As thousands in Iran turn to the web to make their voices heard around the world, a new report finds telecoms in Europe have helped the Iranian government develop one of the world’s most sophisticated mechanisms to censor the internet. It’s called Deep packet inspection and it’s also being used here at home. We speak with Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press.

EU ready to put Big Brother Britain in the dock
http://www.telecomtv.com/go/?ct=1&cid=44788&id=e9381817...a2a10

The European Commission (EC) has followed through on its threat and has instigated legal action against the UK government over the testing of Phorm's "deep packet inspection" and so-called "behavioural advertising" software without the consent of users, writes Martyn Warwick.

Last year BT, the UK's incumbent telco, carried out trials of the Phorm system over its broadband network and on customers who were unaware that they were being used as guinea pigs and having their web browsing habits spied upon.

Caption: COMMUNICATION WAR - PART 1


Caption: COMMUNICATION WAR - PART 2


author by Darren C - L5I (pc)publication date Fri Oct 09, 2009 16:41author email ireland at l5i dot orgReport this post to the editors

After 6 continuous days of demonstrations and actions directed against the Group of 20 (G-20) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which culminated in a 10,000 participant strong march through the downtown area where the summit took place, world leaders, particularly to the chagrin of Barrack Obama, witnessed first hand the willingness of thousands of Americans to protests against such “abstractions” as global capitalism. It was the largest demonstration the city of Pittsburgh has seen since the protests against the Vietnam War.

Full link: http://www.fifthinternational.org/content/workers-power...burgh

author by Dunkpublication date Sat Oct 10, 2009 20:17Report this post to the editors

"g20 Radio" 24/7 music and content from g20 uprising and its aftermath
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/94387

Listen to "g20 Radio" 24/7 music and content from g20 uprising and its aftermath
A project of "blast furnace radio" pittsburgh, pa.

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