G-20, Gee Whiz ... RUN!
Is the Post-Gazette going to shut down during the G-20?
Anyway, the State can commit $6.3 million to a two day summit in Pittsburgh and not a penny of it extends to protecting civil liberties. No wonder your elected officials don't care that your programs and services are about to run out of the money ...
I am appalled that the City is denying all these permits for peaceful demonstrations. Jim Ferlo, Code Pink and others planning PEACEFUL expressions of their positions? Before the Summit! Well, they have to do so somewhere near McKeesport.
Two things afoot from the lesbians' perspectives.
First, defacto Free Speech Zone. That just feels so right with Southwestern PA democracy. We like unions that rehire thugs, drug addicts and defend the 2nd Amendment, but disparage living wages and health insurance. Herding people who disagree with us behind a fence faraway to create illusion that everyone loves Luke? That's our kind of progressive democracy. Give us Wal-Marts that don't slide down hills and we are relatively satisfied.
Second, this is a great way to turn the baby-eating-anarchist hysteria into a self-fulfilling prophecy .... Deny folks lawful expressions of dissent, deny safe opportunities for peaceful expression and you throw fuel on a fire called anarchy. Or just pissed off citizens who won't kowtow to the Ravenstahl Administration dismissal of the First Amendment and decide to express themselves lawfully.
Best of all, the media continues to deftly evade discussing actual G-20 dissent issues by lasering in on the tactics of expression. It is pretty darn close to a perfect storm that guarantees sexy headlines without worrying about that pesky analysis. Sigh.
I am looking for the PG to do a thoughtful story on the people who don't have a choice about going Downtown. The folks without cushy work from home options or extra PTO to use or PTO at all. The working class folks. The service industry folks who need to turn down those beds and empty the trash at the hotels for the 2,000 guest journalists, but aren't allowed to speak out for fair wages and the right to unionize for their sisters and brothers around the world.
I don't want to see someone's business vandalized by any means, but I also have genuine fear that this approach to the G-20 guarantees that outcome. Why can't the City work with a reputable person like Jim Ferlo to find a solution so a respected progressive leader can organize a peaceful outlet for people who have real issues?
Did the Post-Gazette ask if anyone received a permit?
To be fair, the G-20 Resistance isn't the easiest alliance from which to get information. The website is http://resistg20.org/# I've tried contacting them to get more details to no avail. The website isn't updated regularly. I am planning to sit down with Code Pink and get some insight into their plans.
So who is really being served by all these protective measures? $6.8 million could keep a lot of kids in state subsidized daycare so their parents can keep working.