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From the Hill District in Pittsburgh - where the real G20 Action is taking place
international | anti-capitalism | feature Saturday September 26, 2009 11:16 by Fionuala Cregan - Global Call for Action Against Poverty
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.
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"g20 Radio" 24/7 music and content from g20 uprising and its aftermath
Listen to "g20 Radio" 24/7 music and content from g20 uprising and its aftermath
A project of "blast furnace radio" pittsburgh, pa.
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
DN! Twitter Crackdown (1): NYC Activist Arrested for Using Social Networking Site during G-20 Protest in Pittsburgh
DN! Twitter Crackdown (2): NYC Activist Arrested for Using Social Networking Site during G-20 Protest in Pittsburgh
especially like their twitter rap
other part from DN:
full transcript at; http://www.democracynow.org/2009/10/6/twitter_crackdown...d_for
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.
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
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.
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COMMUNICATION WAR - PART 1
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COMMUNICATION WAR - PART 2
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! :-)
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?
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.
Anti-IMF protests on the streets of Istanbul
One dead during IMF protests in Turkey / PHOTO
Anarchist arrested over Twitter use at G20
further on imc-dc ; http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/147773/index.php
G20 "Democracy Now" Coverage- Police Strike First
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Embedded video Youtube Video
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.
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
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
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
G20 Pitsburgh; This is what democracy looks like