Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The "Steel City" gives new meaning to the police state

The folks who want to speak out at the G20 in Pittsburgh are not being organized by Glenn Beck and his ilk nor being choreographed by Fox News. That's what concerns the criminal elite who will gather to further their agenda of economic slavery and put on a show of force against 'free speech.'

Free speech doesn't come easy.
IN THE weeks leading up to the Group of 20 economic summit of world leaders in Pittsburgh September 24 and 25, the mainstream media saturated the city with alarming stories of "violent" and "unruly" protesters.
But these stories also reassured residents that a slew of law enforcement agencies--local and state police, SWAT teams, the National Guard and the Secret Service--would ensure public order and protect private and public property throughout the city.
One question, however, didn't receive as much attention: who would protect the right to free speech?
Ahead of his arrival in Pittsburgh for the summit, President Barack Obama made it clear that he didn't value the opinions of protesters, anyway. "I was always a big believer...that focusing on concrete, local, immediate issues that have an impact on people's lives is what really makes a difference, and that having protests about abstractions [such] as global capitalism or something, generally, is not really going to make much of a difference," Obama said.
But if Obama thinks the demonstrations are irrelevant, his administration is going to great lengths to harass and intimidate them. The projected cost of the police presence--to include some 2,000 National Guard troops, 1,000 state troopers, 900 Pittsburgh police and perhaps thousands more police from nearby municipalities--is upward of $20 million.
The authorities will have helicopters, Humvees, prototypes of a new generation of top-of-the-line police cruisers--and specially outfitted police bicycles. "It ties in nicely with the whole green effort," said Chris Andrews, general manager of the military equipment contractor that donated the bikes.
Several buildings and sports fields belonging to the Pittsburgh public schools have been made available to law enforcement and military agencies to house personnel and provide landing pads for the helicopters.
But activists, on the other hand, have had to file numerous lawsuits to get city and state agencies to issue permits for peaceful protests and other activities. The city also put pressure on universities and other institutions to distance themselves from planned demonstrations, according to activists. {more}

The repression begins.....
Sitting here on the hill in Schenley Park I watch no less than 4 military helicopters constantly buzz the Pittsburgh Skyline. Police vans from Philadelphia and beyond patrol the streets of downtown creating a state of fear, a state of occupation. Over 4000 police, including 2000 national guard troops, some fresh from Iraq, are on call to ensure that Obama’s G20 party goes without a hitch.

Already the police have been going out of there way to create a state of fear before the summit starts. Seeds of Peace, a group that provides free food for activists, has been repeatedly harassed, their bus impounded, and a member arrested without reason. The Landslide Community Farm has also been raided and illegally searched by over 20 cops. No warrant was provided, the only reason given is that it was a matter of “national security.” Meanwhile the police raided several activist homes overnight, drawing guns on people, and towing cars. And after being told that the 3 Rivers Climate Convergence could leave tents setup overnight, low and behold, they have all disappeared by morning.
What is important to recognize is that this is not just a rogue Pittsburgh police force. Because the G20 has been declared a “National Security Event” the Secret Service is in charge of all police operations in relation to the G20. The Secret Service are Obama’s people. They answer to him. The preemptive repression on the streets of Pittsburgh is being done on Obama’s watch. Don’t forget that.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post, Obama said that protests are ineffective and that globalization is inevitable. So much for all his fiery campaign rhetoric about renegotiating NAFTA and other trade deals that have screwed workers and destroyed the environment. {more}

Pittsburgh is under 'house arrest'
Downtown banks and businesses have boarded up their windows and been forced to take out terrorism insurance... Our parks have become tent cities for police and protesters alike. The 3 rivers are shutdown by the Coast Guard and there are only three ways to access the city.... {more}

National security investigation? and lawsuits.....
The 16-page lawsuit focuses on three specific incidents involving the Seeds of Peace Collective, a group founded in 1986 to provide food and water to protesters. A bus, retrofitted to run on vegetable oil and solar power, that is used by the group to prepare meals, arrived in Pittsburgh from Montana on Sept. 13. On Friday, members of Seeds of Peace returned to where the bus had been parked and locked in a private driveway on Melwood Avenue in Oakland to find one police officer inside the bus and another in its doorway. The members asked what they were doing and told them they did not have consent to either enter or search the vehicle. The officers had the bus towed to the city's impound lot, and Michael Bowersox, its co-owner, had to pay $220 to get it back.

"This is the absolute worst police harassment I've experienced in 19 years," he said. "We have a long history of being committed to nonviolence, in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King."

The complaint also said that another bus operated by Everybody's Kitchen, which was parked in a private driveway in Bloomfield, was subjected to harassment, too. Yesterday afternoon, city officials told both buses they had until 6:30 p.m. to vacate the Sassafras Street property where they had been parked. Bob Johnson, an artist who leases the property, said a city building inspector approached the owner yesterday morning, cited him for several code violations and threatened to fine him $1,000 a day unless they moved.

The Seeds of Peace bus is equipped with enough supplies to make 5,000 meals, said Mr. Mark, 29, of Missoula, Mont. Contacts in Pittsburgh helped the food buses get permission to use the Sassafras Street property, which sits under the Bloomfield Bridge and is covered with scrap-metal sculptures. Mr. Johnson allowed police on the grounds on Sunday night when more than 30 police officers dressed in riot gear showed up at about 11:30 p.m., the lawsuit said.

"They informed the owner that this was a national security investigation and that no warrant was necessary." After about 20 minutes of discussion, Mr. Johnson allowed police to search the property, but they could not go on the buses. {more}

Another perspective....
Why not hold the meeting on an isolated Pacific atoll, or a secluded, desert military installation? It would certainly be cheaper, let alone significantly less risky.

The choice of Pittsburgh reeks of provocation (read agents provocateur).

Somewhat related reading for today.....

Any Day Now, as the Song Goes - Les Visible

Dreaming the world wide awake - Peter Chamberlin

Would FOX News and a drunk rodeo clown lie to you

Who REALLY runs Washington

Israel ~ They're out to get us

The Silence of Freedom

1 comment:

  1. "I was always a big believer...that focusing on concrete, local, immediate issues that have an impact on people's lives is what really makes a difference, and that having protests about abstractions [such] as global capitalism or something, generally, is not really going to make much of a difference,"

    In other words, SHUT THE FUCK UP, we don't want to hear you whining about the enviroment or a police state or some BS about freedom.

    If you do get uppity and speak up, we'll toss your ass in prison, where you can join the others we 'pre-emptively' arrested to keep them quiet and flex our muscles.

    At least he was partially truthful, saying that mere protests won't make a dent in that king size mother fucker called globalism, we're just peasants to work for slave wages until we drop or cannon fodder for the endless wars.