Peduto and POG

Caught a story in the PG this morning stating the Peduto won't retract his accusations that the Pittsburgh Organizing Group (POG) is responsible for vandalizing several Shadyside businesses. Peduto claims they fit the profile, given recent acts of vandalism at a military recruiting station and Carnegie Mellon University.  The most recent acts were tied to opposition of the G-8 Summit,

POG representatives vehemently deny responsibility for participating in or organzing destruction of property.  They don't condemn it either.

I have said before that I am no fan of POG's.  Two years ago, they protected a member who had assaulted a cameraman from arrest, leading to a semi-violent confrontation with the police. They then turned that into a media frenzy. It may not be a popular interpretation, but it is consistent with the video evidence.  I think POG  and like minded grops do damage to the peace and justice movement, but they are usually their own worst enemies.  Anybody remember Antifa from the anti-Dobson rally? However, in March, POG organized a protest at CMU's National Robotics Engineering Center that was, IMHO, excellent. 

It makes me sad to drive by The Quiet Storm each morning and see the plywood in the windows.  It makes no sense to vandalize two independent small-businesses as a protest of the G8 (the East End Co-Op was another target). 

It is hard to think that members of POG would do this to businesses they probably frequent.  I can't wrap  my mind around connecting the Co-Op with corporatism.  It doesn't make any sense.  POG claims that they get blamed for any act of anarchy, in spite of the hundreds of anarchists around the region.  They perceive this as an attempt to minimize the scope of anti-war movement.  Hmmm. 

But why would Bill Peduto make this up?  What does he have to gain?  He claims he has received threatening calls.  What's up with that? 

What's going on in this part of the world when G8 protests involve anti-war anarchists, a vegetarian coffee shop and Bill Peduto — on OPPOSITE sides?  Geez.

Your thoughts?


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  • It's very simple and has as much to do with the police as Peduto. The public, especially the Walnut St. public needs to hear that there is a suspect, if not in custody, then certainly one in mind. How can Shadyside residents sleep at night, knowing the places they shop could open a few hours late?
    That's why death row is full of innocent people.
    It is also impossible to make threatening phone calls to a politician in today's high tech world. If little Bill felt so threatened, he could certainly have these scary folks (who by all accounts identify themselves) brought to justice.
    Of course a politician would consider demands, from individuals in a group he slandered, for truth and accountability to be a threat.

  • I think it's more simple than even that. There is no “sense” to anarchy as the definition of the word implies: “confusion, chaos, disorder.” I'm therefore not surprised to hear of senseless behavior from those promoting anarchy.

  • Anarchy literally means “without rulers”.
    What is endless war, traffic, hunger, disease, and environmental destruction, but chaos? But it is a chaos engineered to benefit a very small part of the population.

  • The Quiet Storm and Co-Op can hardly be reduced to places where people shop, as if they make no other contribution to the community. How would you shift the paradigm for the exchange of goods and services if you rule out grassroots, community driven, small businesses?
    I'm sure you could ask thousands of women throughout the region if it is possible to receive anonymous theatening phone calls, many of them living in shelters and more than a few having the same power and access of Bill Peduto.
    Why don't you release the name of the suspect and put us all at ease?

  • Sue,
    I personally don't think that the Quiet Storm and the “Co-Op” are any different than any other small businesses, and Peduto is just another womanizing yuppie, and didn't call for a press conference until there were problems on Walnut St., but I'm sure you disagree, and I can't change your mind.
    One reason why I am an anarchist, is because in the eyes of the law, Bill Peduto is more human than the women you mention, and had the calls been legitimately threatening, arrests would be made, but again, the callers clearly identify themselves.
    Why are you asking me for suspects? I have no idea who would risk arrest for these kinds of minor actions, but maybe Bill Peduto, boy detective, and champion of civil liberties (at least a the symbolic, non-binding level) is probably close to cracking the case using the citywide camera system and human intelligence gathering.
    Bill seems to have it narrowed down to young ladies who drink at Kelly's, or at least that appears to be the focus of his investigations.

  • I have to give the anarchists credit — you all come out of the woodwork whenever I post about POG or related topics. You won't use your real names, but I get that is part of the anarchist thing.
    But it makes it difficult to have a real conversation when you sling mud at Bill Peduto's personal life without exposing your own foibles and human frailties.
    If you know the content of the telephone calls described as threats by Peduto, why not tell the rest of us who made them and how they identified themselves? Why would Bill hide that from us? And please don't answer the second question to deflect attention from the first.
    Personally, I think there is room on the continuum of organizing for anarchy if for no other reason than to create opportunities for liberals to make progress. I'm sure you don't agree. But I appreciate your comments.
    But please tell me how you would restructure the exchange of goods and services, or perhaps the distribution of goods and services, without small businesses like Quiet Storm or the Co-op?

  • Sue,
    Sorry that my views on identity and privacy make it a little hard to facilitate communication.
    Politicians interfere in our personal lives, so I have no reservations about commenting on theirs. If Mr. Peduto will allow me to take charge of his life, I will gladly allow him to comment on mine.
    I personally haven't called Peduto, but I know people who have and they are not so stupid as to believe that they could threaten their superiors on the telephone in Geo. Bush's US. If the people who called wish to identify themselves to you, they are more than welcome to do so. That isn't my place, and your concern for this politician's privacy, while asking me to violate their privacy and trust to soothe a blogger (however well-intentioned they may be)?
    Peduto seems to be playing up the “danger” angle, and as a way of reassuring voters that he will risk his own safety to preserve the rule of law, and to confront the unruly (non-voting) elements of Bolshevism on what the right-wing pundits spin as the fringes of the democratic party.
    I am in total agreement with your statement regarding anarchists driving progress. I'm quite impressed actually, many people want to believe that social change occurs in a vacuum, and that the powerful won't simply capitulate before the moral superiority of one's argument.
    I would be lying if I said I had a comprehensive system for distribution of goods after the abolition of State and Capitol, but only that we would take back what is ours, and work together to ensure our material prosperity, which would be much easier without the shareholders taking their 80% cut.
    I'm also not sure what the role of small businesses which deal in luxury goods like the Quiet Storm and “Co-op” would be in a non-hierarchical social order. Hopefully communities which have their basis in human relations and not commodity relations would be allowed to flourish, and more responsible, humanistic production and distribution practices would eliminate greenwashed capitalism, and thereby eliminate the need for guilty liberals to purchase fair-trade, organic indulgences for absolution.

  • I think by calling out POG, he's actually helping to give them the credibility and legitimacy they need … whether or not they are interested in it.

  • When the windows on the southside were broken it was Public works. When windows of the Co-op are broken it is POG.
    …assumptions…all assumptions.

  • Maybe you can find a link where someone blames Public Works for that. The assumption was that it was Koch supporters. One hopes he had more support than just in his old department.

  • Sue, I agree that this one is difficult to put together. I just found this post of yours and, having posted on this very issue today as well, I see we have many of the same questions. One I am asking myself is, who does this all benefit? Who does it benefit to put the blame on POG? or to smash windows in the first place? More thinking I think.

  • It certainly doesn't seem to benefit Peduto, especially as people are questioning his lack of evidence. Could it cost him votes in the social justice movement? Most people I know over the age of 35 in the progressive/social justice arenas dismiss some of the direct action tendencies of POG, but not their motives. I'm sure its agism, but whatever. Could even more anarchical anarchists want POG to take the fall? Is it just a big misunderstanding?

  • I think that had the stone casters wanted POG to take the fall, greater care would have been taken to implicate them. I don't think that any theoretical or personal differences amongst local anarchists are so serious as to invite State intervention. But I'm guessing like everyone else.
    Peduto dropped the ball, politicians do that. It was a simple miscalculation, and now he's committed to it.

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