Sunday, September 27, 2009

G-20 Summit or WHAT was THAT?

OK, I can see that if I'm going to get serious about this whole blogging thing, I am going to have to set aside some time every day for the effort. I have been distracted the last several days by a minor medical problem and all the G-20 hubbub. I was riveted to the TV. I watched the news every time it was on, and do you know what? I still don't know anything. I know they had a meeting. I know they shook their collective fist at Iran, and I know there are now twenty of them. Beyond that I know little of the meetings themselves. Maybe that it what they intended, I just don't know.

It was very informative on other matters however. Lots of people protested. What they were protesting, even they don't know, but they were there in droves. OK free Tibet, I can wrap my brain around that one, it's not too ambiguous, Consider however this report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Groggy but not subdued, anarchists hail protest success with little damage
Saturday, September 26, 2009
By Sadie Gurman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
They weren't stockpiling human waste to throw at police.
They didn't set cars ablaze or chain themselves together in "sleeping dragons" with PVC pipe.
The anarchists who police and media had warned for months could wreak havoc on the city during the G-20 summit didn't exactly fulfill that expectation. Instead, they smashed some windows and turned over a few Dumpsters, flooded the streets of Lawrenceville and staged sporadic uprisings for hours elsewhere, met by a large contingent of riot police at almost every turn.
Some were sprayed with OC gas, others pelted with rubber bullets. Still others were arrested in the demonstrations, which they had spent their summers planning.
Then yesterday, groggy but not subdued, the contingent joined thousands of other protesters in a city-sanctioned march that was largely uneventful, beyond some chanting laced with swear words and a little taunting of police. Some had shed their all-black attire for shorts and T-shirts.
So, were the protests everything the anarchists had envisioned during meetings and trainings?
"We tried to do what we wanted to do, and we wanted to take to the streets in a show of resistance against the G-20," one member, Alex Bradley, said. "In that respect, I think it was a success."
As the summit and the protests it spawned wound to a close yesterday, members of one of the more visible -- and vilified -- anarchist groups, the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project, reflected on their experiences.
"Even though people had to fight to save themselves from the riot police, people continued to re mobilize so many times, we didn't let the police keep us down," said Amanda Zeiders, who tried to snap as many photos as she could during Thursday's actions. "It was great for the movement."
There were scary moments, she said, when she was separated from friends, and painful moments of dehydration. "It was intense," she said. "It was surely a great day."
The group issued a statement during Thursday's unrest declaring the "people's uprising" a success and proof of "people's willingness to resist global capitalism despite the combined forces of state repression."
Mr. Bradley described Thursday's march out of Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville as "people power," whereas yesterday's permitted event was "an appeal to people in power," each with its own merit.
The group said its arrest count -- 17 in four hours, by members' estimates -- was relatively low, and no one was badly hurt.
Mr. Bradley said the downing of Dumpsters might have been protesters' attempts to shield themselves from police, who threw tear gas and blared what he called "a sonic weapon," the long-range acoustic device.
"The Dumpsters people pushed down the road ran into an armored personnel carrier," he said. "I really hope the armored personnel carrier was all right."
The group blamed the mayhem, which left windows broken, on police "overreaction."
The Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project had been holding public meetings since early June, when it launched a Web site and issued a call to action.
"We are asking you to come to Pittsburgh with every ounce of anger and rage that you feel when your local projects refuse to manifest into something larger, fiercer, or broader, or when that anger itself forces you into isolation or alienation," the Web site said.
The anarchists quickly captured the attention of reporters and police, who, group members believe, were always keeping an eye on them.
As the summit approached, the group turned a Greenfield storefront into a "convergence space" for gatherings. Dozens of police officers in vans and a hazardous materials truck watched the headquarters from a nearby parking lot on Wednesday night, during a meeting to coordinate the next day's events. They left -- and returned again -- without incident.
"It's a psychological attack," the group's spokesman Noah Williams said at the time. "They want people to feel threatened constantly."
The anarchists also fought against what they consider media "scare stories" that claimed anarchists were squatting in vacant buildings, collecting human waste to throw during protests.
Fear later brewed over a list, posted to the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project's Web site, of locations, including Starbucks coffee shops, police stations and banks, and other places with "links to globalism" where possible protests could take place.
Some stores boarded their windows, but there were few, if any, reports of trouble at sites on the list.
Throughout it all, anarchists tried to explain their views as simply as they could to skeptical inquirers. They left fliers at 4,500 homes and went on radio talk shows.
Patrick Young, of the anarchist Pittsburgh Organizing Group, led theoretical and tactical training workshops for demonstrators, including one on "lockboxing" with PVC pipe and chains.
He said the summit protests were an extension of the work anarchists try to do daily.
But now, he said, a break is in store.
"As soon as everyone gets out of jail, I am going to take a long, long, long nap," he said. "And probably have a couple beers."
Sadie Gurman can be reached at or 412-263-1878.
Read more:

HUH? I re-produced the whole story here so you can see I didn't edit it, but I still don't know what the Anarchist's point is. If they were not threatening violence, the massive police presence wouldn't be necessary. Most of the banners shown on TV were about how bad Capitalism is. Now I'm by no means saying we don't have problems with the way we practice capitalism in this country, but what are the alternatives to it. I did a little snooping into anarchist theory (there is very little that I could find quickly) and it seems they offer no alternative. The orderly exchange of goods and services has to be accomplished somehow. Anytime there are more than three people clumped together, we have to figure out some way to provide for each other's needs. So unless we are all going to be camped out in the woods with no hot water or cable TV, eating nuts and berries and whatever tasty animals we can catch, we have to have some form of exchange. We can do that by a Nanny State, which forces everyone to do stuff and make stuff, and give it to the State to re-distribute, or we can have some profit or altruistic motivation. The Nanny State has been tried several times now, and the level of oppression is far worse in those cases than it is here in the good old US of A. If you really want Anarchy, have a look at Somalia, it's the best example I can think of. That is not really an ideal lifestyle if you ask me. I take a more Libertarian view myself, though like Tucker and his Machine, I don't think profit at any cost is good for us. It tends to deny opportunity to some for the benefit of others. Equal OPPORTUNITY for all is what I say, the results are up to you.

The problem is that we don't think anymore. We are not really taught HOW to think either. Our educational system is abysmal in that regard. We are taught to regurgitate information and to conform, but beyond that, original thought and expression are discouraged. We aren't even doing a good job of teaching regurgitation anymore. Just a thought (and not my own I must admit) how about complete and open disclosure of ALL financial transactions. Yes, that's what I said. Everyone could look-up on-line what everyone else spends and for what, and how much they have in the bank. The country as a whole wouldn't really stand for multi-million dollar bonuses for wall street raiders, if they really knew who, where, when and how much. Yes, your expenditure for odor-eaters would also be revealed. Sorry about that, but openness and honesty is really the best policy, if you ask me, I know you didn't, but there you have it anyway. Your contributions to my campaign for congress would also be available to anyone, so think carefully before you write that check!

That is really the point. If everyone could know what everyone was up to financially, we might all think a little more before we did something we might be ashamed of. Public conscience, what a concept!

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