Videos of Police Repression at G20 in Pittsburgh


college students trapped in stairwell and gassed, attacked

police assault couple in street

Police pose while taking picture of arrested student

front line of resistance on Thursday afternoon, youth hurl dumpster at cops

Day 6 - Sept 25 - G20 protests

Day 6—Sept. 25

The permitted People’s March on G-20 attracted an estimated 10,000 people, largely young people. The organizers, the People's Voices coalition, held two rallies during the march.

Following the closing down of the Tent City on the Hill in the morning, the Bail Out the People Movement organized a speak-out and then a contingent at Freedom Corner, which fed into the People’s March.

BOPM’s Larry Holmes spoke at the first rally where he defended the youth who were brutally attacked by the police on Sept. 24 in downtown Pittsburgh. BOPM’s Cheryl LaBash spoke at the second rally on the crisis in Honduras. The March organizers asked the BOPM contingent and its banner, “Message to G-20 - WE NEED JOBS NOW" with photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, to lead the second leg of the march.

Eyewitness report from Dante Strobino:

On Friday night, I was near U. of Pitt around 10:00 when we saw a huge crowd of about over 1000 students, most of which were not political at all and certainly not involved in G-20 protests, gathered in Schenedy Park where there was a concert going on with acoustic and rock bands as part of G-20 protest events. The police began to occupy the park and forcefully removed everyone from the park. As students began to gather around to check it out, the riot police got more hyped up. There were no chants, no signs, no banners, no folks dressed in black and no provocation and the police threw several tear gas and smoke bombs at the crowd again and pushed them further back down commercial streets where there bars and restaurants. They also began chasing people into the huge dormitory towers and attacking students as they left. Students were hanging out the windows, taking pictures in awe.

Forbes St. was blocked off by hundreds of riot cops while surrounding contingents of cops moved in on the other areas of the campus to corral people in. Police brutality had been witnessed -- folks being thrown to the ground and shot with rubber bullets, media being pepper-sprayed and gassed. There have been 48 confirmed arrests (an estimated 175 arrests total) with more reports still coming in. Protesters and students alike are being held in the dorm towers unable to leave in fear of being arrested; other students cannot cross 5th Ave. to get to their residences without being thrown to the ground.

I got a chance to talk to several students who had never seen anything like this in their lives. It was really interesting hearing people say "F_ck the Police", people who you would never expect to hear this from! Even some more conservative students that I talked to, were really angry too and just confused.

What is most striking about being here is seeing the incredible police repression both Thursday and Friday night in Oakland, a neighborhood which houses U. of Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University, two universities with mostly white, mostly middle class students. As Larry Holmes commented during our Tent City, at any given normal day the police usually target and harass the Black community, but these two days not only are they (Black people) under normal occupation, but the police are targeting young white folks.

Sept. 25 quotes from students on police violence:

"People have been saying mostly that the violence and any disruption by the protest were small fraction, most protesters were peaceful. It was the police who started the violence and ended up finishing the violence. ... It felt like a war zone. The police became more and violent, taking over more and more of the street. I couldn't get to my house even until 3am on Thursday. I saw there multiple people that needed to have pepper spray washed out of their eyes. The police wouldn't let students cross the street or enter their dorm rooms. I saw violent use of police dogs that were used to intimidate."
- Sean O'Sullivan, senior at University of Pittsburgh

"The night before in the same location there was a mass arrest of people walking by who were thrown to the ground, maced and arrested. We were gathering there because kids in a march earlier were there. We didn’t want to march tonight; we wanted to chill and have a nice night. As we did that, more cops surrounded area…We hopped the fence to get out over the hill... as we were doing that, that police officer was beating down a fence with his nightstick to get over it; a reporter got maced in face and we brought him to steps of chapel and we were distracted. They swarmed around us and arrested the guy who was injured; he could barely breathe, trying to get him away from crowd. As kids tried to run away they picked us off one by one. [The police told a woman] to shut the fuck up and get off the goddamn phone. As she was trying to say goodbye, he grabbed her by head and slammed her head into the ground. They were being way forceful and too aggressive. They put on handcuffs way too tight. They had us sit down for awhile and wouldn't tell us what was going on. They put us in two lines for males and females. From that point they took our photos, held out papers in front of our face with another cop. They searched us, put us in vans and wouldn't tell us what was going on. They wouldn't read us our rights; they only had snarky comments to say to us. We were in transportation vans for about three hours; then we got to the State Correctional Facility where we were in the van for another five hours still with plastic handcuffs on. They turned up the air conditioning to 55 degrees to make us feel as uncomfortable as possible. There were girls on periods that they would not let go to bathroom; there were girls in tears because of how bad they had to pee. You can get urinary tract infection or Toxic Shock Syndrome. We were there until 6:30 in the morning. Then they searched us, had us take off all our jewelry but our hands were swollen from cuffs and they were being real aggressive taking off rings. As soon as we stepped off the bus, a guy was holding my arm and a cop said "Say G-20" and snapped my picture. They didn't tell us where we were going or how long that we would be there. They didn't answer any questions we had."

--Jillian Dowis, sophomore at Ohio University


college students trapped in stairwell and gassed, attacked

police assault couple in street

Police pose while taking picture of arrested student

front line of resistance on Thursday afternoon, youth hurl dumpster at cops

Day 5 - September 24

Day 5-Sept. 24

The following special report was written by Dante Strobino from Raleigh Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) youth group who attended this protest:

Over a thousand people gathered in Arsenal Park in Pittsburgh to resist the G-20 countries meeting in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown. Young activists representing struggles against racism, gentrification, imperialist wars, gender oppression and environmental destruction gathered together in an effort coordinated by the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project. Protesters began their march through a working class neighborhood of Lawrenceville towards a bridge to get into downtown. The march continued down Liberty Avenue in an unpermitted demonstration taking over the streets with banners that read “No Hope in Capitalism”, “No Bailout, No Capitalism” and “No borders, No banks”.

Protesters were eventually stopped at the bottom of the street by police who confronted them with high frequency sound blasts and orders to disperse. Protesters then redoubled back and confronted cops again in the middle of a residential community. As resistance continued to mount up, anarchists grabbed a dumpster on wheels and hauled it down the hill directly into the police barricade, not harming anyone. The police reacted with more violence by attacking the entire neighborhood with several canisters of OC gas, Oleoresin Capsicum, a new police weapon meant to cause temporary blindness and breathing pain. From then on many different groups broke away in different directions and some marched together back towards Oakland, the neighborhood which houses University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

Police had been bused in from dozens of states including states as far away as Arizona and Florida, along with National Guard and SWAT units. Armed guards with camouflage humvees were stationed at every exit of the beltline around the city, blocking off entry. Most all businesses downtown including cell phone stores, apparel store, banks and restaurants were completely boarded up following Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s suggestions, putting many workers out of work for the two days while the G-20 meets. At the universities and museums all monuments were also boarded up or covered with bags to continue to promote an atmosphere of fear. Police had to be hauled around town in several city and school buses to head off protesters. Department of Homeland Security and police helicopters have been roaring overhead the city since Wednesday night.

On their way back to Oakland through the Birchwood neighborhood a few windows were broken by protesters including a cop car window, a window at a PNC bank, BNY Mellon bank and at a BMW dealership, all of which symbolically represent institutions that are responsible for the economic crisis. A few hundred protesters continued to take the streets and make their voices heard throughout the evening. At one point, the protesters stopped the police with a stream of projectiles. Police responded with brutal blows of bean bags, causing injuries. Protesters defended themselves by blockading the street with a large chain link fence obstructing the road.

At 10 p.m. BASH BACK! organized a protest for LGBTQ liberation in Oakland near Carnegie Mellon University. Nearby at University of Pittsburgh students were gathered close to the bridge to Schenley Park, where Obama had earlier visited Phipps conservatory.

Heavy-handed police repression ensued, including the usual electronic dispersal order and tear gas, but this only attracted more and more protesters and onlookers, and soon the crowd numbered up to 1000. Reports described students with t-shirts wrapped around their faces chanting “beer pong!” and “LET’S GO PITT!”

Through the next couple hours cops were chasing students into their dorms, attacking people leaving the bars and arresting folks who were not earlier participating in protests. By the end of the night more than 60 were arrested.

NLG Observes Improper Use of Force by Law Enforcement

National Lawyers Guild Observes Improper Use of Force by Law Enforcement

For Immediate Release-September 25, 2009

Contact: Paige Cram, Communications Coordinator, 609-668-0645

Pittsburgh-National Lawyers Guild members witnessed first-hand yesterday the unwarranted display and use of force by police in residential neighborhoods, often far from any protest activity.

Police deployed chemical irritants, including CS gas, and long-range acoustic devices (LRAD) in residential neighborhoods on narrow streets where families and small children were exposed. Scores of riot police formed barricades at many intersections throughout neighborhoods miles away from the downtown area and the David Lawrence Convention Center. Outside the Courtyard Marriott in Shadyside, police deployed smoke bombs in the absence of protest activity, forcing bystanders and hotel residents to flee the area.

Later, while some protests were ending, riot-clad officers surrounded an area at the University of Pittsburgh, creating an ominous spectacle that some described as akin to Kent State. Guild legal observers witnessed police chasing and arresting many uninvolved students.

Among other questionable tactics, officers from dozens of law enforcement agencies lacked easily-identifiable badges, impeding citizens' ability to register complaints.

Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, said: "Accountability and chain of command is virtually impossible to establish given the lack of visible individual identifying badges on officers. The small, paper armband badges that law enforcement are wearing are difficult to read, and many wore black chest coverings with absolutely no identifying information. We've seen many law enforcement personnel, including Pittsburgh Police Department officers, deliberately covering up the arm IDs by rolling their shirt sleeves up over them."

The National Lawyers Guild is a progressive bar association, founded in 1937, with chapters in every state. Its national mass defense program includes education about laws and practices that affect individuals engaging in dissent, criminal defense of protesters and civil litigation to curb unconstitutional police practices, and its legal observing program. Resources detailing police tactics are available on the Guild's website,, including Punishing Protest and The Assault on Free Speech, Public Assembly, and Dissent.


Resistance continues as police attack G20 protesters

For continuous updates, visit:

Bail Out the People Movement blog
Updates, photos and video from the protests and tent city

G-Infinity: a project of Pittsburgh Independent Media Center
Real-time field reports, photos, audio, and video recordings

Interview with Clarence Thomas, ILWU

Tent City Day 4 -- Wed. Sept 23 -- 100's attend UE Peoples Voices forum and Honduras briefing by Lucius Walker

The Tent City is growing. More tents have been pitched and the number of camp participants is now over 100 people, most of them young, who are upset and angry about the G-20 policies. Tent City organizers continue to orient the new comers to the history of Tent City and the importance of respect for the surrounding community.

At the same time, community support has continued to grow. Cars from the surrounding area stop by with donations of water and food and residents on foot have come out to check out what's happening.

Camp organizing was well underway when the "People's Voices" forum organized by the United Electrical Workers and Grassroots Global Justice began in the late afternoon. Close to 500 people packed the church sanctuary.


The program included Leo Gerard, Intl. Pres. United Steelworkers; Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate Economist; Emira Wood, Institute for Policy Studies; Berta Caceres, Coordinator, Consejo Civico de Organizaciones Populares e Indigenas de Honduras; Tammy Bang Liu, Labor/community strategy center & Grassroots Global Justice Alliance; Carl Redwood Jr., Hill District consensus group; and Rev. John Welsh.

Leo Gerard struck a note with the crowd when he proclaimed that the time is NOW for a movement for jobs. Gerard toured the Tent City of unemployed workers and their supporters before speaking at the forum.


After pouring out of the first forum, participants went to the church hall for dinner. At dinner, Lucius Walker from Pastors for Peace gave the group a briefing on the critical situation in Honduras. As a result of the discussion it was decided that the Tent City would do its best to oppose any attempt by the coup government to move against ousted President Zelaya and his supporters.

Tent City Day 3 -- Tues Sept 22 -- March on Mellon Corporation HQ

The Bail Out the People Movement and Rev. Tom Smith from Monumental Baptist Church initiated a demonstration to demand a national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. An emergency press conference was held the day before to announce the action. The protesters, mainly residents at the Tent City on the Hill, gathered at the historic Freedom Corner and were joined there by antiwar activist, Cindy Sheehan. The march passed by the Mellon Arena until reaching the Mellon Corporation HQ in downtown Pittsburgh, where the protesters formed a picket line and rallied. Many passersby stopped to listen to the message of the protesters, some of them homeless, linking the struggle for jobs with the struggle for housing and other human needs.

Hours before the protest occurred, a discussion took place at the Tent City focused on "Fulfilling King's Dream of a Right to a Job For All" which included the global jobless crisis. Later on in the evening, a discussion was held in the Monumental Baptist Church on the case of Georgia prisoner, Troy Davis, organized by the Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Tent City Day 2 -- Monday Sept 21 -- Workshops

Three workshops took place in the Tent City on "Global Solidarity: Unions, Communities and Movements Working Together", "Connecting The Issues: Housing Is A Right" and a Student and Youth discussion. Following the dinner break, a documentary, "In Prison My Whole Life" on the case of political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, was shown in Monumental Baptist Church. The film was sponsored by the Pittsburgh Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition. Pam Africa from International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal updated the audience on Mumia's case.

Thursday: Police attack protesters

Tuesday march from Tent City to Mellon Bank 1

Tuesday march from Tent City to Mellon Bank Part 2

Tuesday march from Tent City to Mellon Bank Part 3

Tuesday march from Tent City to Mellon Bank Part 4

Howard Zinn: "Come to Pittsburgh"

For continuous updates on G20 protests


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article: Tent City Continues to Grow

Hill District tent city continues to grow as protesters plan demonstrations
By Jason Cato and Margaret Harding
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crews overnight erected crowd-control fences on streets around the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in preparation for the Group of 20 economic summit.

Workers placed tall metal fences along Penn Avenue near the convention center and Grant Street near the Federal Building, Downtown, and around Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland. G-20 meetings begin Thursday.

Across town, a group of protesters in the Hill District said they expected an influx of people to join their temporary tent city before world leaders arrive for the summit.

"We're going to have to rearrange," said Cheryl LaBash, an organizer with Bail Out The People, as she mingled with campers about 2 a.m. Population at the tent city on Wylie Avenue stood about 60 strong, she said.

"I think it's really been terrific," said LaBash, 60, a retired road construction inspector for the city of Detroit. "The reason we're here with all the violence baiting and the G-20 and what they say is to make people remember those without jobs."

Protesters at the camp — who represent several organizations — came from across the country, including California, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Washington D.C.

John Parker, 49, drove from Los Angeles to join Bail Out The People and highlight the need for jobs.

"It's important for us to come here," Parker said. "(World leaders are) supposed to make things better, and things have gotten worse. They're enriching themselves."

Representatives from the Minneapolis-based Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign joined the tent city to voice the plight of the homeless. The Rev. Bruce Wright of the Refuge Ministries in Tampa said most of the people in his group are homeless or recently have been, and they came to Pittsburgh to show the world "we're no longer going to be silent."

"What we're trying to do is bring forth our belief that housing, jobs and health care are human rights," Wright said.

Hill District residents have donated water and food and have been supportive of the site, Parker said.

He dismissed worries about upcoming marches becoming violent.

"It's funny, with all these things where folks gather, the authorities put these stories out there that there's going to be violence," Parker said. "They're just trying to scare people from coming out and protesting."

LaBash joked about being considered an "outside agitator."

"I'm 60 years old. I'm retired, and I own a house," she said. "We're not scary. You may not agree with us always, but it's not the way it has been played up."

Some campers participated in a demonstration Tuesday outside BNY Mellon headquarters, Downtown, to protest bank foreclosures. Today, campers will hold a panel discussion at Monumental Baptist Church on Wylie Avenue that will spotlight how G-20 policies affect communities.

Several groups, including Bail Out The People, marched Sunday in the Hill District to demonstrate the need for more jobs.

Another yet-to-be-announced march is planned, and LaBash said her group also would participate in the People's March planned for Friday.

"We're participating in all the events," LaBash said. "We stand in solidarity with others who stand against the G-20 and what it represents."

Tent City In Solidarity with Unemployed Continues to Grow


More than 100 residents as of Wednesday, September 23

The Tent City in Solidarity with the Unemployed erected in Pittsburgh this past Sunday has now grown to over 100 occupants, eating and sleeping in tents through the week of the G20 summit. On Tuesday evening 30 new people with knapsacks, tents and sleeping bags arrived at the Tent City, which is located in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, an African American community that borders on downtown Pittsburgh.
20 of the new arrivals were part of a caravan in solidarity with the homeless that originated in Philadelphia.

Tent City organizers are now rearranging the tent city so it can accommodate more people. In addition to the scores of small tents that people are sleeping in, the Tent City has now set up 2 large tents for people who did not bring their own. The organizers expect between 60 and 100 new people to come to stay in the Tent City today.

All of the occupants of the Tent City are being fed three nutritious meals every day from food donated by local small businesses and food pantries. Hill community residents are constantly driving by to drop off a wide variety of necessities and supplies including food, water, cookies, toothpaste, napkins, and much more.

Yesterday, protesters from the Tent City went to Downtown Pittsburgh to hold a demonstration in front of the Mellon Center, the international headquarters of the Mellon Bank, to demand a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. That demonstration was joined by antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, who is in Pittsburgh to participate in G20-related protests.

Today at 3:30 PM, the Tent City will host a forum on the G20. Participants in the forum will include Leo Gerard, President of the United Steel Workers International Union. The USW is headquartered in Pittsburgh.

After the G20 forum, the Tent City will host a briefing on the current critical situation in Honduras. The briefing will be given by Rev. Lucius Walker, the leader of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, who has been in constant contact with leaders and groups involved in resisting the coup in Honduras.

Bail Out Unemployed Tent City, g20, pittsburgh

Bail Out the Unemployed Tent City

Bail Out the Unemployed Tent City

Pittsburgh looking to steel limelight with G-20 summit

Still, protesters could outnumber police by 10 to one if everyone who plans to demonstrate in the city shows up.

That list includes John Parker, of South Central Los Angeles, who rented an SUV last week, loaded it with four friends and drove across the country to Pittsburgh. He arrived Saturday and pitched his tent with a group called Bail Out the People, which plans several marches to demand jobs.

"We have to do it for our own survival," Parker said.

"It's like we have no choice. It's either be depressed and demoralized or fight back." full article here

Banner Drop in Pittsburgh

Struggle for jobs comes to G-20

More than 1,000 protesters marched through the streets here on Sept. 20 demanding a real jobs program, like the public works program the Roosevelt administration enacted during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It was the first demonstration related to the G-20 summit, a gathering of Treasury officials and central bankers from 20 countries that is to take place in the city later in the week. The goal of the G-20 is to protect bank profits. The goal of the March for Jobs is to revive Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for the right of all to a job. The march was organized by the Bail Out the People Movement and the Rev. Thomas E. Smith, pastor of the Monumental Baptist Church, and endorsed by the United Steelworkers union and the United Electrical Workers.

slideshow photos by LeiLani Dowell, Brenda Sandburg, Dante Strobino and G. Dunkel

The march garnered coverage and interest from major big-business media, both nationally and locally, including the Associated Press, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, the French Press Agency and others. Organizers of the march attributed the media interest to the fact that the march addressed the crisis of joblessness and its devastating impact on the Black community.

People came from cities throughout the country to join a significant number of Pittsburgh area residents for the march. The cities represented included Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Cleveland, Akron, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Miami, New York, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Providence, the North Carolina Triangle area and Boston. Many have been laid off or lost their homes to foreclosures. Despite the crisis, people were spirited, drawing strength from being together and from building a movement.

“In honor of Martin Luther King we are continuing what he started in uniting people together in a poor people’s campaign,” the Rev. Tom Smith, pastor of Monumental Baptist Church and one of the organizers of the march, told the rally. “The G-20 is structuring deals to protect the corporations and not the workers. It’s time for the workers to come together and make a difference.”

People gathered in the morning at Monumental Baptist Church located in the historic African-American Hill district of Pittsburgh. A tent city dedicated to the unemployed had been set up next to the church the day before. Many of the protesters will stay at the tent city throughout the week with more people expected to join as the G-20 summit opens.

An opening rally was held before the march stepped off at about 2:30. People marched carrying hundreds of placards with the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and chanting, “We got the right! We got the right to a job!” The march ended at Freedom Corner, where in 1963 people got on buses to go to the historic civil rights march in Washington, D.C.

Larry Holmes, an organizer of the Bail Out the People Movement, said the government claims a jobless recovery is on the horizon. He emphasized that this is unacceptable. “A jobless recovery is like a dead patient after a successful operation,” he said.

Monica Moorehead of the organization Millions for Mumia recognized the more than two million people in prison who couldn’t be at the demonstration. She introduced a taped message from political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

At the closing rally, Fred Redmond, United Steelworkers vice president, noted the need for universal health care and affordable education as well as jobs for all. “Enough of our kids are going to school where the rats outnumber the computers,” he said. “We have to assure that every child receives an education to equip them for the 21st century.”

Other speakers at the two rallies included Oscar Hernandez, a participant in the 11-month Stella D’Oro bakery strike in New York City; Clarence Thomas, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 and Million Worker March Movement; Brenda Stokely and Jennifer Jones, NYC Coalition in Solidarity with Katrina/Rita Survivors; Rob Robinson, Picture the Homeless; Rosemary Williams, Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign; Mick Kelly, Coalition for a Peoples Bailout; Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council; John Parker, Bail Out the People Movement organizer in Los Angeles; Sandra Hines, Michigan Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs; Rokhee Devastali, Feminist Students United, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart; Larry Hales, FIST (Fight Imperialism Stand Together); Larry Adams, People’s Organization for Progress; Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Victor Toro, an immigrant facing deportation and member of the May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights; Berna Ellorin, BAYAN-USA; Father Luis Barrios, Pastors for Peace; Kali Akuno, U.S. Human Rights Network; and Pennsylvania state Sen. Jim Ferlo.

Why people came to Pittsburgh

The march was a powerful draw for people, many of whom traveled long distances to be part of the event. Strikers from TRW Automotive, a seatbelt-making plant in Mexico, had been in Detroit speaking out about their struggle when they heard about the protest in Pittsburgh and joined the bus from Detroit. One member of the TRW group, Israel Mouroig of the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, said it was necessary to forge alliances at the international level. “Corporations that generate billions of dollars a year produced the crisis in our country,” he said. “There is a lack of jobs because they see the working class as robots, as numbers. We have to appropriate the means of production and be the actors of our own history.”

Several people drove from Los Angeles, including Guy Anthony, who lost his job as an organizer with the Service Employees union in June. Now living in his car, he has traveled around the country writing a blog about his experiences ( “You can’t talk about joblessness without talking about homelessness,” Anthony said. He met people in Seattle who had set up “a fabulous tent city” on church property. He also stayed with people who set up a homeless community at a roadside stop off of Route 280 south of San Francisco. “You couldn’t want better neighbors,” he said. “Nobody went hungry. It was a beautiful socialist community.” The county recently shut the group down.

A large contingent from the Boston School Bus Drivers union, USW Local 8751, including Gary Murchison, former three-term president of the local, and Frantz Mendes, current president, showed up three days before the march to help organize and build the tent city.

Detroit activists, who organized a hugely successful tent city in June, brought a busload of people to Pittsburgh. “We had to be here,” said Sandra Hines of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition. “We have to mobilize, organize before they take every right we have away from us.” Latonya Lloyd, who was part of the Detroit delegation, recently battled the shut-off of utilities at the Highland Towers apartment building.

Mary Kay Harris came with about 40 other people on a bus from Rhode Island. A member of DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality), Harris said that as soon as they heard about the March for Jobs they decided they had to be there. Rhode Island, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, has a tent city of the homeless. “We feel that solidarity is the most important thing,” she said.

Activists in Cleveland also brought a busload of people, including a large contingent from the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. And a group of 18 youth came from North Carolina, including Tracy Gill, a member of FIST who said this was the first big protest she had ever been to.

Members of the Minnesota People’s Bailout Coalition also came to the march. Angel Buechner said the organization had fought for legislation last year that would have provided immediate jobs or income and a moratorium on foreclosures and on the state’s five-year limit on receiving welfare. But Gov. Tim Pawlenty defeated the measure. Despite the setback, Buechner is ready to continue the battle.

At the ending rally at Freedom Corner, Holmes announced—to the approval of the crowd—that the next step is to build a national march for jobs in Washington next April to continue Dr. King’s dream.

Anti-G20 activists accuse Pittsburgh police of harassment

Anti-G20 activists accuse Pittsburgh police of harassment

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — Tensions were running high in this former steel town Tuesday as anti-G20 protesters accused the police of using heavy-handed tactics to discourage them from rallying against this week's summit of world leaders.

A handful of activists were arrested overnight Monday, and volunteer medics, who are in Pittsburgh to provide care to any demonstrators who might be injured during anti-G20 protests on Thursday and Friday, complained of "harassment at the space where they are staying in Polish Hill."

"We've had a couple of reports of people being arrested and given citations on the spot and then being released. And Seeds of Peace, which has a bus on which they cook food (for the demonstrators), had one person arrested," a man called Morgan, who works on a legal hotline set up by, told AFP.

"It seems pretty clear that the harassment is designed to intimidate people out of exercising their First Amendment rights," said Morgan, who asked not to give his last name.

The first amendment of the United States constitution guarantees free speech and the right to peaceably assemble.

Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday filed a lawsuit on behalf of Seeds of Peace and the Three Rivers Climate Convergence (3RCC) group against the Pittsburgh police bureau.

The complaint, which was filed in a Pennsylvania district court, accuses the police department and several individual officers of harassing anti-G20 activists in a bid to discourage them from taking part in protests on Thursday and Friday, when world leaders are due to hold talks in this once rough-and-tumble US steel town.

"City of Pittsburgh police have engaged in a pattern of illegal searches, vehicle seizures, raids and detentions of 'Seeds of Peace' members," the suit said.

According to the lawsuit, in the early hours of Monday "more than 30 Pittsburgh police officers with semi-automatic weapons" raided a private property in the Lawrenceville neighborhood where Seeds of Peace had parked its food preparation bus.

After the activists refused to allow the police to search the bus or the property it was on because they did not have a warrant, four Seeds of Peace members were detained for nearly two hours on loitering charges, the suit said.

The four, who were detained while walking to their lodgings, were subsequently released without charge, the complaint said.

No one was available for comment at the Pittsburgh police bureau.

Protesters have said 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."

Most of the groups taking part in the protests say they will be staging non-violent demonstrations of their opposition to the G20.

But residents, officials and security forces fear that violent demonstrations such as those seen in 1999 in Seattle -- where protesters and riot police faced off for days, disrupting a meeting of the World Trade Organization -- or at the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy in 2001, will mar this week's Pittsburgh summit.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has called in 4,000 highly-trained federal police officers to back up local security forces.

To prepare protesters for the summit, the Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Group is holding a health and safety workshop on Wednesday, at which activists will learn "how to survive 6,000 riot cops and come out swinging."

Activist groups around Pittsburgh have been organizing housing for the thousands of demonstrators from around the world who are expected to stream into the city for the summit.

On the eve of the summit on Wednesday, workers and environmentalist movements will hold a concert, which 10,000 people are expected to attend, Patrick Young, a member of the anarchist Pittsburgh Organizing Group, told AFP.

The following day around 1,000 people are expected to march towards the summit venue in a protest organized by Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project (PGRP).

"They have not applied for a permit, nor have they pre-emptively been offered one," said Young.

And on Friday, as the summit winds down, protesters have been called to take part in the main anti-G20 event: a mass march on "institutions that pepper the landscape where the G20's worldview manifests... the places that symbolize the kind of world the G20 works to protect and sustain," the PGRP website says.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

G20 Third Day of Protests

march for jobs
Sunday: March for Jobs

tent city, g20, pittsburgh
Monday: "Organizing the global struggle for jobs & workers rights"
workshop at the Tent City

Occupants of the Bail Out the People Movement Tent City will be marching from Freedom Corner (the intersection of Centre Avenue and Crawford Street) to the Mellon Corporation Headquarters (500 Grant Street) at 4:30 to demand a national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. Participants in the march will include homeless and unemployed people from across the U.S., trade union activists, community organizers and local residents.

The Tent City kicked off Sunday with a spirited March for Jobs, with more than 1,000 protesters marching through the streets of Pittsburgh in the first G-20-related demonstration. Carrying hundreds of placards bearing the image of Dr. Martin Luther King, and slogans such as “Fight for the right to a job,” the long march was enthusiastically greeted on the streets of Pittsburgh by Sunday worshipers getting out of church, many of whom joined the march.

Rev. Thomas E. Smith, pastor of Monumental Baptist Church and one of the organizers of the march, told the rally, “We must tell the G-20 leaders that we reject the notion of a jobless recovery. An economic recovery that leaves unemployment in the double digits adds insult to injury to all who have lost their jobs and their homes during this terrible economic crisis, both in this country and around the world.”

Buses of protesters came from New York, Rhode Island, Detroit, Cleveland, and other places. Vans and cars and caravans came from literally every part of the country, as far away as Boston, Florida and Los Angeles. Joining the many who came from out of town were a large turnout of Pittsburgh residents, especially those who live in the historic African-American section of Pittsburgh called the Hill district, where the march was mounted from.

The end of the march was Freedom Corner, near downtown Pittsburgh, where there is a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders and activists.
Amongst the many speakers at Sunday's rally were: Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council; Rakhee Devastali, Feminist Students United, UNC-Chapel Hill; Oscar Hernandez, participant in the 11-month Stella D’Oro bakery strike in New York City;Sandra Hines, Mich. Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions; Larry Holmes, Bail Out the People Movement; John Parker, Bail Out the People Movement activist, who brought a van of people from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh; Fred Redmond, vice-president, United Steelworkers; Lynne Stewart, civil rights attorney, target of government repression; Brenda Stokely and Jennifer Jones, NYC Coalition in Solidarity with Katrina/Rita Survivors; Clarence Thomas, ILWU Local 10, San Francisco and Million Worker March Movement; Victor Toro, an immigrant facing deportation with the May 1st Coalition for Immigrant and Workers Rights; Rosemary Williams, homeowner fighting foreclosure in Minnesota; and Rev. Bruce Wright, Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign.

After the march and rally, hundreds of protesters returned to the rally’s beginning point, Monumental Baptist Church in the Hill district, and began to prepare their tents to prepare to live in a tent city dedicated to the unemployed of the world that will stand next to the church for the entire week of the G-20 summit.

The tent city is full of tents and hundreds of residents. Organizers expect the population of the tent city to grow as the opening of the G-20summit grows closer. Throughout all three days of the Tent City, local Pittsburgh residents have been coming by to donate food and water and to express their support for the demand for a real jobs program.

A full schedule of the various forums and teach-ins that will take place at the tent city each day is available online at

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Videos of the Tent City and March for Jobs:


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