Flashback: September 2009

5 Apr

Courtesy of Flickr user "Desiree N. Williams"

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania hosted the G-20 Summit, which was held September 24-25, 2009. President Obama chaired the meeting of leaders from countries around the world that represent 85 percent of the world’s economy. With the increased attention on Pittsburgh, groups from across the world congregated in Pittsburgh to have their voices heard. The grievances, from group to group, varied from environmentalism, to racism, to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but all groups sought to exercise their First Amendment

Courtesy of Jobs with Justice

right.

These peaceful demonstrations took a turn for the worst and saw hundreds of arrests. The American Civil Liberties Union brought a civil suit against the City of Pittsburgh for alleged first amendment violations by the Pittsburgh Police. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reportedthat the city’s solicitor Daniel Regan claimed, “The city is prepared to defend itself against any baseless or frivolous claims.” The city also prepared to defend themselves from a small scale land invasion.

Courtesy of Charity Sperringer

While the city claims no wrong doing, there were enough cameras running to dispel claims that the Police acted within their Constitutional limits. Below is a short documentary, Democracy 101, by indy filmaker Nigel Parry. Democracy 101 is a look at the policing and pattern of issues that arise during National Special Security Events. Made with footage from the recent repression of dissent in Pittsburgh, salvaged from the broken cameras, stolen video and arrested reporters, and independent journalists from around the country:

These are your Civil Liberties Pittsburgh, let’s have a civil conversation.

Just for fun.

A Pittsburghers account of the G-20 Summit

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