Released 29 August 2009  By Melissa Minnich, Anne Lynch
For Immediate Release
August 28, 2009
Contact: Melissa Minnich, 412-592-1671
Anne Lynch, 412-552-9720
Broad Formation Mounts Mobilization for G-20 Summit
Fight Over First Amendment Rights Ensues
Pittsburgh, PA - Since learning of White House plans to hold the next G-20
Summit in Pittsburgh on September 24-25, scores of activists and
organizations from multiple sectors of society have been quickly gearing up
for a mobilization. They are simultaneously fighting to safeguard their
right to free speech and assembly. The mobilization is expected to be the
largest expression of political dissent in Pittsburgh in more than a
"Anyone who has lost a job, a home, a loved one to war, or lived without
adequate healthcare, water, or food has been directly affected by policies
set by the G-20," says Jessica Benner of the Thomas Merton Center Antiwar
Committee, which is organizing a "Peoples' March to the G-20," on Friday,
An extraordinary array of groups from peace & justice, women's, religious,
environmental, Indigenous, African-American, anarchist and student
- from Pittsburgh and around the globe - are planning marches, rallies,
civil disobedience, direct action, educational forums and "tent cities."
(See attached summary of events.)
"Our week-long tent city will represent the millions of refugees who have
been displaced by war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gaza, and for whom the
turns a blind eye," says Edith Bell, a member of the Women's International
League for Peace and Freedom.
As in recent summits and political conventions in the U.S., the Dept. of
Homeland Security has claimed jurisdiction. The authorities are delaying
attempting to deny permits and proposing restrictions on free speech, while
securing $18 million dollars for 4,000 police and weaponry as well as waging
an information warfare campaign that equates protest with terrorism.
Organizers have launched a campaign to protect the public's 1st amendment
rights and have called on the Mayor and City Council to stand up to the
Federal takeover of Pittsburgh. "We invite all those who believe in free
speech and civil liberties to join us to fight for the right to
demonstrate," says Michelle Gaffey, a Duquesne University graduate student.
"Free speech and dissent are the foundation of a democratic society."
Lawyers from the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, and National
Lawyers Guild are preparing lawsuits.
"The State's attempt to suppress dissent calls to mind why we're
in the first place," says David Meieran of the 3 Rivers Climate
which is planning an environmental justice camp and protests focusing on the
coal industry as the International Coal Conference directly precedes the
G-20 Summit. "The closed-door G-20 Summits make policies that benefit
corporations at the expense of people, democracy, and the planet."
Future releases will contain updates around developing stories about the
G-20 summit mobilization as keynote speakers are confirmed, organizations
announce plans to mobilize, etc.
For more information visit www.g20media.org.
Peoples' Summit, an alternative to the G20, will discuss global problems and
possible solutions, organized by a partnership of educators and social
advocacy groups (Sept. 19, 21, 22).
. Contact: Paul LeBlanc, 412-760-9716, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bail Out the People, caravans of unemployed workers will set up a tent city
at the Monumental Baptist Church on Sept. 20-25 and march to the
Center on Sept. 20.
. Contact: Karen Black, 412-780-3813, email@example.com
Women's Tent City: Real People, Real Needs and feeder march, organized by
Pittsburgh chapters of CodePink, the Women's International League for
and Freedom, and other groups (Sept. 20-25)
. Contact: Francine Porter, 412-389-3216, firstname.lastname@example.org
Three Rivers Climate Convergence, a partnership of local, regional and
national groups and individuals who are organizing a climate justice camp,
coal/climate protests, a feeder marches, and educational events (Sept.
. Contact: Kim Teplitzky, 267-307-4707, email@example.com
G6 Billion Project, Interfaith journey and witness on behalf of the more
that 6 billion people of the world (Sept. 20 witness downtown - Sept 21
International Day of peace vigil)
. Contact: Wanda Guthrie, 412-596-0066, firstname.lastname@example.org
International Peace, Justice, & Empowerment Summit, organized by the
National Council For Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment (Sept. 22-23)
. Contact: T Rashad Byrdsong, 412-371-3689 x14,
Peoples' Voices, organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, The Nation
Magazine, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE),
Pittsburgh United, and others. They are organizing a panel discussion
23), a "Peoples' Tribunal" (Sept. 24), and other events.
. Contact: Robin Alexander, 412-471-8919,
Music Camp is holding an informal Open Mic for musicians, poets/spoken
word, and other artists in the Southside Riverfront Park (take 18th St.,
cross train railroad toward the river, make a right and pass the
Birmingham Bridge), free and organized by artists and members of the
community, on Sat. Sept. 19 at 1pm - Music Camp from Sept. 18-26.
. Contact: email@example.com
Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project is providing mobilization support and
organizing a march starting in Lawrenceville on Sept. 24 and decentralized
actions that end at 11:30am on Sept. 25.
. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
SDS Concert, featuring Anti-Flag, State Radio, and Ryan Harvey, organized
by Students for a Democratic Society (Sept. 24)
Peoples' March to the G20, a rally and mass march from Oakland to downtown
organized by the Thomas Merton Center and its Antiwar Committee (Sept.
endorsed by over 55 groups.
. Contact: Pete Shell, 412-422-7435, email@example.com