Protests have kicked off in Pittsburgh ahead of this week's G20 economic summit.

A peaceful march was held on Sunday although many protesters are still arriving in the city while others are making preparations for the 'main event' later in the week.

At the headquarters of the Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project, peace activists, environmentalists, socialists and anarchists and others conducted closed-door training on street demonstration tactics.

Participants plan to engage in civil disobedience, culminating with an Thursday march to the convention centre where the G20 summit is being held.

Protesters say they plan to air their opposition to 'the undemocratic way in which the G20 operates and the decisions the group makes, which affect the more than six billion inhabitants of this planet.'

The protest movement has attacked comments made by Barack Obama in the local Pittsburgh media, downplaying the effectiveness of mass protest on supposedly 'abstract issues' such as global capitalism

It was Obama who decided to shift the G20 summit from New York to Pittsburgh in an effort to minimise the protests.

The protest movement has pointed out that during his election campaign, Obama repeatedly said that the way positive social, political, and economic change was brought about in the United States been through protest movements--through the struggles of the labour, civil rights movement, and women's movements.

As one protester said: 'It appears that there's not that much difference between the policies of Bush and those of Obama toward these kinds of protests.'

The two day G20 summit begins this Thursday.

'The People's March' is expected to draw tens of thousands of people.

Twelve hundred state troopers began moving into the Pittsburgh area yesterday. 4000 federal officers have also been called in to assist the Pittsburgh law enforcement agencies.

The protest movement say that both local and federal authorities are deliberately fear-mongering in an attempt to justify any repressive police measures.

Meanwhile,two protest groups have already filed law suits alleging police harassment.

Seeds of Peace, a group that promotes Israeli-Palestinian coexistence, says its bus was illegally searched and seized over the weekend. It also says its members were detained without cause.

Three Rivers Climate Convergence, which focuses on the environment, says its members were also detained without cause.

2 comments:

  1. Are the protests really going to have any demanded result? I seriously doubt that. Most of the time the main reason, why people gather at the conventions like this, just somehow disappears during the protestations and all that could be seen is a misbehaviour and violence either by the police or by the activists. I know that usually there are not many ways for ordinary people to show and pursue their opinion but surely they could do better than this. Julie

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  2. Pittsburgh's G-20 story: Take an expressway from town and disappear into desolate 'hoods and encounter the civilization of menace. Pittsburgh, a dual city! The glass wonder of PPG Place and/or the G-20 Summit is a faded memory. Here in the 'hood lives lie abandoned as far as the eye can see.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEukcWW5dM0

    That is: For the most part, African-American Pittsburgh seems to be invisible, not only to the public relations hucksters who tout Pittsburgh's successes, but we are equally invisible to the protesters.

    Certainly, black Pittsburgh is as proud as anybody in that the black President we worked so hard to elect has selected Pittsburgh as the host of the G-20 Summit. We even enjoy the re-invention of Pittsburgh from a dirty, smoky steel-churning history to the bright, clean, green financial success that the business leaders and politicians boast about so loudly. Nobody is more proud of the Super Bowl winning African-American coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin. But none of that feel-good stuff erases the pain of the stubbornly high unemployment among African American young adults and the staggering dropout rate for young black males from the public school system.

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