PITTSBURGH - Police threw canisters of pepper spray and smoke at marchers protesting the Group of 20 summit Thursday after anarchists responded to calls to disperse by rolling trash bins and throwing rocks. The march turned chaotic at just about the same time that President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrived for a meeting with leaders of the world's major economies. (see: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090924/world/g20_summit_protests)Finally some news worth reporting on yahoo! (reposted, of course as real journalism is only a cost factor for so-called ‘content providers”).
After the summit, some Youtube footing emerged that makes one wonder if the label "police state" , a term once reserved for third world dictatorships, has become a partial feature of the once upon a time, so-called free world as well. Indeed, it is justified to ask "can you imagine what the coverage would be like if this had happened in Teheran?"
For those who had chosen to simply re-label and re-paint business of usual after the global grievances against the capitalist system shook the Seattle “Summit” in 1999, and who probably had hoped that the kids had grown up and turned into compliant consumers ten years later, the Pittsburgh protests are like an unwelcome blast from the past. (For a refresher on Seattle, see: http://www.globalissues.org/article/46/wto-protests-in-seattle-1999)
The official line on the summit’s home page is vague enough to get everyone around the table to be in a good mood and ready to smile for the usual “family” Photo. The official website says (http://www.pittsburghsummit.gov):
At the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit, leaders are reviewing the progress made since the Washington and London Summits and together they are discussing further actions to assure a sound and sustainable recovery from the global financial and economic crisis.For site visitors who would like to “learn more” on how to explore Pittsburgh, Restaurants near Convention Center is just a click away (while I am writing this it seems the link to the PDF brochure has gone away for dinner). My luck at finding out where to dine is failing me today as even Download Restaurant Guide and Hours from the G20 G-20 Pittsburgh Summit Press Room does not work (maybe all tables are taken up by the protesters?).
In fact I am looking for some sort of news on what this G20 group intends to do in response to the food crisis that continues throughout many parts of the world, rich and poor. The summit site does not seem to have any background papers dealing with issues at hand. While I could find the Interaction Climate Change
Policy Statement for 2009 Pittsburgh G20 Summit http://www.interaction.org/document/policy-statement-2009-pittsburgh-g20-summit-climate-change finding any G20 document discussing the world’s food crisis eluded me.
In the end (lacking the will to dig any deeper online) I will just settle for The President’s Welcome Message for the Pittsburgh Summit (available, although with no mention of food, at http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/newsdesk/pittsburgh.html).
My expectations for the G20, I must admit were low to start with. But hey, who knows, when the protesters and the leaders and their legions of bureaucrats (who in any case already will have prepared the closing statement weeks in advance in the comfort of their office cubicles) bump into to each other in some Pittsburgh food court, they might decide to order from the same menu. Bon appetite. (Glen Brigaldino)