Resist the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh

Starting Date: 09-22-2009
Ending Date: 09-25-2009

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
Sept 22-25: Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Strategy Update

The Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project (PG20RP) exists as a space to aid coordination and actualize resistance to the G20 summit happening this September 24-25 in Pittsburgh, PA. The group has coalesced around a shared desire to deepen ongoing social resistance locally, to demonstrate and build new and existing alternatives to the worldview represented by the G20 and the direct policies it promotes, and to disrupt the summit and undermine its attempts to gain legitimacy.

Towards these collective goals, the PG20RP is creating a strategy that recognizes the unique opportunity created by an influx of outside supporters during the four-day period around the summit and the challenges presented by the incredible amount of state resources that will be directed against us. We are steadily addressing how to effectively focus on and integrate these four days into the bigger picture of ongoing local social resistance.

On Tuesday, September 22, the PG20RP and allies will host an Anti-G20 Community Gathering in the East End of Pittsburgh and are encouraging other groups to hold similar gatherings in neighborhoods throughout the city. These events will work to bring together community members already active against the G20 with their neighbors, and locals with out-of-towners who care enough to come to Pittsburgh to resist the G20. This is a chance to create webs of solidarity between the people of Pittsburgh and the world. This is not a protest; this is a chance to directly tell our story of the world for which we’re fighting. The gathering will involve the sharing of food, music and stories.

On Wednesday, September 23, other Pittsburgh organizations are tentatively holding a major march, followed by an evening concert. We are calling for a Red and Black contingent within this march. In accordance with the Pittsburgh Principles, this anti-authoritarian presence will not be a black bloc and will not be masked. Later that night there will be a spokescouncil (a meeting of representatives from groups participating in street actions) to discuss the following day’s schedule.

On Thursday, September 24, we will meet at 2:30pm in a location TBA in the East End to “March on the G20” summit at David Lawrence Convention Center downtown. This event is a space for the active expression of diverse forms of resistance by all those wishing to oppose the G20. This is not a state-sanctioned event. We hope to also create a way to coordinate the participation of those with varying risk levels, and those who may not want to participate in more direct actions themselves but would like to stand in solidarity with those do.

On Friday, September 25, events will begin at high noon with dozens of simultaneous actions that connect the struggle against the G20 to a broader arena of local and international social resistance. The aim is an event that puts dozens of groups in motion, drawing on the strengths of coordination, decentralization, diversity of tactics and differing risk levels. Individual groups will choose what they do and while we’ll be unaware of what is planned, we have faith that people will act creatively and effectively in ways based on respect for the principles driving the overall mobilization and the Pittsburgh Principles. We’ll soon put out a list of a hundred or so places already being resisted in Pittsburgh and some generic ideas, and we’ll come up with a way for groups to avoid going to the same places. Afterwards, groups will converge at Fifth and Craft avenues in Oakland to participate in the march and rally being organized by our allies, the Thomas Merton Center Anti-War Committee. Although we would like to march as a PG20RP contingent, we would ask people to avoid police provocations and ensure their actions during the march stay consistent with the Pittsburgh Principles. After the conclusion of the march, we will move as a group to begin a jail solidarity encampment outside the local jail and wherever they hold folks arrested during the summit.

In general, we are calling on individuals and groups to participate in, and self-initiate, efforts consistent with the following goals:
Defend our communities and contest state control of space in our neighborhoods.
Occupy to reclaim space from the clutches of neo-liberalism, before, during and after the summit.
Confront and disrupt the G20 and its political, corporate, and institutional enablers throughout the city.
Connect the G20 to local and global struggles.

The PG20RP is actively working to:
Provide a mobilization infrastructure and an information clearinghouse
Create and distribute publicity and educational materials
Create space for folks interested in resisting the G20 through articulation of a broad action framework
Ensure that some of this space is utilized through actions organized and carried out by the PG20RP and supportive individuals and groups
Build hype and momentum through a series of lead-up actions directed at local supporters of the G20 and its agenda (such as the Allegheny Conference), and state-organized propaganda events designed to present the illusion of community support that lay the groundwork for repression of dissent.

More details will be released as the Action Working Group and General Assembly flesh out more specifics.
Geographical Scope: National

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