PITTSBURGH: G20 WITH BLAST FURNACE RADIO / FIRST ARREST - SEEDS FOR PEACE BUS IS TOWED

By Anonymous (not verified), 19 September, 2009
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G20 Bed & Breakfast: Pittsburgh

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Saturday, Sep 19th, 2009 ↓
Surly news round-up (or "the shit hits the fan")

“What are you looking at?” by G20 Bed and Breakfast Homeless Editor Delta Hughes.

You wimps! While you’re cryin’ over your sorry “civil liberties,” and the liberties the government is takin’ with your “civil liberties,” you with your permits and papers, I’ve been stuck here with my ass in the dirt beneath the Panther Hollow Bridge, listening to Tally and Gator mumble on and on (and on and on) like the homeless victims of mental illness that they are. Jesus Christ, thank God for this bottle of Boone’s Farm or I’d never get any sleep! To be honest, I’ve only been part of this G20 Bed & Breakfast bullshit scam “blog” for the last couple months because the publishers are kickin’ me CASH MONEY to update this from the public computers on the second floor of the Carnegie Library.

So here you are, assholes: your last news update before the shit hits the fan tomorrow. I hope the Communist tent party people or whatever they are have a place for this old blogster, ‘cos me and the kids are descending like a motherfucking shitstorm and taking our rightful place among the Hill District Bonus Army. I’ll tell you one thing: you sons of bitches don’t have Delta Hughes to kick around anymore!

If you insist on “stickin’ it to the man” like we did in the 1960s, plenty of groups have posted their events calendars on the web, including:

3 Rivers Climate Convergence
G20 Resistance Project
G20 Media Support
To participate in our daily podcast, or to submit your reporting (audio, video, essays, and articles) email: g20bedandbreakfast@gmail.com

For more info on the G20 Bed & Breakfast podcast click: here.

Neithercorp Press: Tensions mount!

It is only a week now until the G20 Summit and subsequent “festivities” will grace us here in the Steel City, and many are wondering if the air has yet been cleared over what conditions await protesters wishing to express their Constitutionally protected right to free assembly. The answer: …not really.

UPI: Pittsburgh making jail space before G20

As many as 200 jail inmates will be released before next week’s Group of 20 Summit in Pittsburgh to make room for protesters, officials said Friday. Kevin Evanto, the Allegheny County director of communications, said the court system is looking for non-violent inmates who are nearing parole dates or who may be held on unduly high bail, WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, reported.

WDUQ: “People’s Summit” Begins in Pittsburgh

About 100 activists and community leaders have gathered in Pittsburgh today as part of the “People’s Summit” that’s being held in response to next week’s G20 Summit. The 3-day event, billed as an educational dialogue about problems facing the world, kicked off this morning at the 20th Century Club in Oakland. One of the first speakers was State Senator Jim Ferlo of Pittsburgh. He railed against globalization, called health care “a basic human civil right,” and spoke about what activists call “the myth of free market economics.”

Infinonymous: A tale of two buses

The Seeds of Peace Collective arrived in Pittsburgh with a bus equipped to prepare meals for G20 demonstrators. Its bus, parked legally in Oakland, was towed. After aggravation, delay and a $200 payment, the bus was returned.

Meanwhile, a group of visiting politicians departed downtown Pittsburgh by bus, on a happy-talk tour led by Dan Onorato. Their bus bypassed Oakland, and nearly all of real-life Pittsburgh, by a special-dispensation trip along the East Busway. After an all-you-can-swallow bullshit buffet, the visiting dignitaries pronounced themselves impressed by the small, misleading sliver of Allegheny County they had been shown…

Touch Stone blog: “Global trade unions set out stall for Pittsburgh G20”

The global trade union movement has issued a ‘Pittsburgh Declaration’ setting out what they want from the G20 leaders summit this week. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber will be in Pittsburgh, along with other G20 trade union leaders, to lobby the leaders and the people who run the global institutions like the ILO, IMF and WTO about jobs, justice and climate. The key messages are: the recession ain’t over till the jobs come back, and there can be no return to business as usual. We need greater equality between and within nations, and we need a sustainable economy that provides decent work and reins in climate change.

Anti-G20 protestors get ready in Pittsburgh

Tuesday, Sep 15th, 2009 ↓
Radio Blastfurnace presents the G20 podcast!

Blast Furnace Radio has been broadcasting out of Duncan and Porter House in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania since 1999. In addition to playing music, news, and interviews with activists and artists from around the world, we’ve donated our time and energy to many of the Emergency Community Broadcasts featured on MicroRadio.NET. We’ve also helped coordinate feeds originating from insurrections in such far flung locales as Philadelphia, New York City, Cincinnati, Boston, Washington DC, and Quebec City.

We want your voice to be heard! During the week of the G20 Summit in PIttsburgh we’re looking for volunteers to provide on-the-street reporting, audio and video for our radio station and blog, and interviews / reports for our podcast, recorded nightly in our studio beginning Sunday, September 20.

To get involved, drop us an email at: g20bedandbreakfast@gmail.com, and make sure you keep checkin’ back to G20BEDANDBREAKFAST.ORG for regular updates.

Community / Organization Links:

G20 Bed & Breakfast: http://g20bedandbreakfast.org/
Blast Furnace Radio (and TV): http://blastfurnacetv.wordpress.com/
G20 Media Support: http://www.g20media.org/
Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project: http://resistg20.org/
Pittsburgh G20 Partnership: https://www.pittsburghg20.org/
The Pittsburgh Summit 2009: http://www.pittsburghsummit.gov/

Monday, Sep 14th, 2009 ↓
Howard Zinn: "Come to Pittsburgh, join the party!"

“I’ll be back here in Boston protesting my dyspepsia.”

Other news in small, mindless bits:

Security wonk urges local businesses to plan for “office occupation” and “targeting of management.”

Four major local businesses have been singled out as ”sponsors” by anarchists – they must work on the principle that they are the headline targets for direct action. A list will be issued, probably in the form of a map for “out of towners,” identifying 100 businesses; these businesses must assume that they are the secondary targets for anarchist attention.

Federal Funding to help downtown Pittsburgh businesses board up windows.

Climate change the biggest loser of the G20 summit.

The Pennsylvania State Police said it will send more than 1,000 troopers to help with security at the upcoming Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is the last chance for revolution.

Sunday, Sep 13th, 2009 ↓
Ravenstahl to environmentalists: 'don't diss my homies.'

WASHINGTON — Protesters on Wednesday disrupted a press conference by city officials from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, foreshadowing the roiling demonstrations anticipated there this month at the G20 summit.

At a Washington press event highlighting the city’s role as the venue for the September 24-25 gathering of world economic powers, environmental activists unfurled a banner accusing the city of suppressing free speech.

“Why is the greenest city silencing green voices?” read the sign held in silence by a trio of activists from the Avaaz.org environmental group.

The protesters were escorted from the press briefing, only to be followed by two more activists displaying a similar banner who also were ejected.

Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl expressed “concern (that) the activities of the protesters will overshadow the good story” of the rust-belt city that remade its image and now is seen as one of America’s most desirable places to live.

Ravenstahl rebutted charges that city leaders were trying to suppress protests.

“We want to provide for peaceful protests,” he told AFP, adding that permits will be granted for most demonstrations.

“We want to make sure that people enjoy themselves and that they are safe,” he added.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure folks are given the opportunity to have their first amendment (free speech) rights respected,” the mayor said.

But Ravenstahl also said the city is ramping up its security and readying holding facilities where “we will take individuals if they are detained.”

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh police will be bolstered by the addition of thousands of federal and state officers, with the US Secret Service leading the security efforts, officials said.

The G20 leaders are scheduled to hold their September 24-25 summit in Pittsburgh hosted by US President Barack Obama.

Wednesday, Sep 2nd, 2009 ↓
George Will: Why I am fighting the G20 on the streets of Pittsburgh

George Will has a posse. (Left to right: Broken Arrow, George Will, Molotov Pete) (Credit: AP)

Some of you have been skeptical ever since the Washington Post published my piece, Time to Get Out of Afghanistan, on September 1. “This is a cynical ploy,” said Bill Kristol. Keith Olberman pointed out — quite rightly — that I supported the war when it was President George W. Bush’s. The conclusion that he makes is that I am looking to make political points off the current administration. This, however, could not be further from the truth.

The fact of the matter is that war sickens me. This war and any war. While I used to believe that some wars were justified, I now know that this is not the case. Wars, I have come to believe, are in and of themselves cynical. They are not fought out of passion or a sense of injustice, but are political tools. While the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are currently the most glaring example of the political and economic interests of the few causing widespread death and destruction for the rest of us, they are not the only example.

This whole era of global economics is little more than an opportunity for a few to make money off the blood and sweat of the many, and I for one am saying: enough!

I have endured many attacks in the past. “You’re a wimp,” they say, “who writes for Newsweek — which is little more than the Weekly Reader of the white-collar crowd.” Remember when my book Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball came out and the scuttlebutt was how my mother made me take violin lessons (and wear a bow tie) as a child because I was too much of a sissy-boy for Little League? Well, that hurt. It hurt the most of all the attacks I have suffered — because it is true.

I can see now how this led to some of my most egregious errors in judgement: I helped Ronald Reagan prepare for a debate against Jimmy Carter in 1980, a horrible debasement of journalistic ethics, because I really wanted the Gipper’s love (a poor salve for the wounds that my cold, uncaring mother inflicted on me — wounds that have never healed). Or there was that time not too long ago where, in another Washington Post column, when I stated that global sea levels are the same now as they were in 1979. Of course, I knew that was untrue — just as I knew how man has caused global warming. The honest truth is that Todd Palin promised to take me aerial wolf hunting some day and I didn’t want to piss him off. You see, that’s the problem — I am always getting involved with these men, developing unrequited man-crushes, and then doing stupid things as a result. But in the end, they’re not really my friends at all, and all the ass-kissing and back-bending does no good.

But now I understand all this.

My new friends at the Boston CrimethInc house have taught me so much. They’ve shown me that the only way to be truly happy and fulfilled is by believing in a cause, not for material or social gain, but because it is where my heart is. If you follow your heart, I have learned, people will follow you. I know this sounds a little touchy-feelie, and a little Zen, but this is the new me.

And for once I am happy.

And I am done with those bow ties for good.

See you in Pittsburgh!

Ravenstahl Defends $18 Million Precrime Expansion

by Science Fiction editor Rixt Rassman

PITTSBURGH Sept. 2, 2009: Mayor Luke Ravenstahl declined to appear at this afternoon’s City Council hearing to defend his proposed expansion of Pittsburgh Police Department’s Precrime Division, but I managed to track him down at the Market Square Primanti’s. Ravenstahl agreed to be interviewed if I’d spring for a Pabst pounder, which I had precisely enough change on me to cover. When I mentioned this, he seemed unsurprised.

“Pittsburgh PD already has the largest Precrime Division in the state,” I said, covertly sipping the Kombucha I’d brought in with me, “so why the expansion?”

“For one thing,” said Ravenstahl, pausing occasionally to chew a capicola & cheese sandwich, French fries waving out of the sides of his mouth like some giant, rectilinear potato-camouflaged grasshopper’s antennae, “the old methods are clunky and insufficient to handle the massive surge in precrime we’re going to see with the G-20. For another, the money’s there, and I think our top priorities in spending it should be on protecting local property and law enforcement. This expansion should do both.”

“It should also pretty much exhaust the city’s G-20 security budget. What, besides more mutants, will the PPD get for $18 million?”

“Actually, we’re taking steps to enhance the existing precognitive faculties of every cop on the beat, for the duration of the summit and beyond, so that should enable us to do away with the mutants entirely.”

“Humanely, I hope?”

“Well, the fact that they aren’t really human makes humane standards inapplicable, but I still think, on balance, we’ve treated them decently. Over the years, padding has been added to their steel restraints, potpourri and essential oils have been added to their nutrient bath, or whatever, things like that. We’ve always treated our mutants better than most police departments do theirs, but the G-20 is a chance to move forward in this area, to show the world that Pittsburgh really is on the cutting edge.”

“So the plan is to make every cop a precog, then?”

“Well, as Police Chief Nate Harper has stated elsewhere, our officers are currently trained to evaluate the totality of a situation and gauge someone’s intent. Still, it’s an uphill battle, because so many officers have pineal calcification due to elevated fluoride intake from coffee, processed pastries and so forth. The expansion budget provides for enough vitamin D supplements, royal jelly, cordyceps and monatomic gold to accelerate pineal softening and general veil-piercing capabilities of local law enforcement in time for the summit. The out-of-towner cops, special forces, spooks and so on will, naturally, have to bring their own respective stashes.”

“What else?”

“It’s mostly drugs, honestly. Even in the quantities we’re talking, and accounting for bulk discounts, drugs, even legal ones, tend to be more expensive than they have any business being. I’m not really sure why this is, but there you have it. The main thing we want to lay in a heavy supply of is ayahuasca. The officers have been on raw foods diets for the past month, bless their hearts, and the tanks soon-to-be-formerly devoted to the mutants and their life-support gadgets can be quickly converted into vomitoria. Our main hurdle is, even a kitchen staffed full-time by Peruvian shamans, with a dozen of whom we’ve already drawn up provisional contracts, pending Council’s ineluctable approval, can only crank out so much ayahuasca in so much time, so we’re looking at other, less traditional sources from various sites on the Internet. Still, we plan to recoup most of the expenses.”

“But, isn’t –”

“No. Next question.”

“Aren’t you concerned that, what with all the consciousness expansion, Pittsburgh’s finest will be more interested in exploring themselves/the cosmos than performing their security duties?”

“No. You have to understand that, when a cop accosts you and demands identification and hassles you or shoots you, even without the benefit of precognition, it’s not just, you know, they’re there doing a gig to pay the milkman, it’s an expression of a deep-rooted need to establish and maintain law and order and democracy, a core part of who they are, a calling, if you will. I’ve never met a cop for whom this didn’t hold true, so, no, I think expanded consciousness will only and exclusively lead to more effective policing.”

“The expansions will remain in place post-G-20, then?”

“Christ, what would be the point, otherwise? You don’t expand a department and then just pop it like a market bubble, do you?”

“On that topic, are there any criticisms brought against the G-20 by the various diverse groups that you think could possibly be legitimate?”

“No. Let me amend that, ‘Fuck, no.’ In any case, the proper forums for dissent are blogs and other websites, not meatspace, and certainly not our sacred Golden Triangle.”

“How much violence do you anticipate, and can you explain how you plan to recoup, as you mentioned, from this massive expenditure, considering the city’s already so far in the hole?”

“We anticipate very little, if any, violence. Our precog officers’ prime directive is to administer $300 fines for possession of various odds and ends, and not to engage in combat under any circumstances. If an otherwise lawfully and unthreateningly occupied anarchist, or whomever, stands on Lysander Spooner or the First Amendment or whatever, and refuses the fine, the officer’s instructions are to move along to the next, less problematic preperp, and serve them a fine and/or pop ‘em. If a few protestors do get rambunctious, they will be quickly and, I’m told, painlessly pacified from concealed locations by trained operators using acoustic and/or microwave weapons. We’re also banning the color pink for the duration of the summit, to reduce target-occlusion and headaches among our remote viewers. The fine for violation is $30,000, so we should make out nicely on that one as well.”

“The pink thing, though, won’t that outrage groups like Code Pink?”

“If it does, tough titty. Of course, anyone contemplating wearing colors besides black and gold to the event should be ashamed of themselves, but only pink will be actively prohibited. It’s a big spectrum. Those bitches want to hit the streets, they can either repaint their signs and whatnot in accordance with the law, or pay the fine. It’s up to them.”

“Sounds like it should be a cakewalk, then, security-wise.”

“So I expect.”

“Still, with all the fractally brachiating worldlines being snipped and then rebrachiating, won’t it be a challenge to keep officers on the same page?”

“As I understand it, once we nail a preperp, that’s one less incident-bearing worldline to worry about, so it should be very orderly and systematic. Now, there are speculative fiction writers and physicists who would claim this is not the case, but we’ve already popped the bulk of them for precrime, or drug possession, so I wouldn’t fret too much about those kinds of paradoxes.”

“I’m told the ACLU will have its own army of metapsychics on site to keep tabs on oracular officers during the event.”

“Well, that’s not my prediction. I suspect most of them will be behind bars by that point, as the planning of ex post facto legal interference with Precrime operations itself constitutes precrime.”

“Very neat. On a more speculative note, there’s some buzz about expanding the PPD’s Precum Division for future international policy summits and conclaves, and–”

“Yes, I can’t really comment, but if all goes as planned with the G-20, the Bilderberg group is considering holding their next shindig in one of the City of Bridges’ many fine hospitality establishments. I’ve spoken with Etienne Davignon several times, and he’s a Steelers fan, so keep your fingers crossed.”

By this point, Ravenstahl had finished his sandwich and pounder, and I’d polished off my Kombucha and was ready for a smoke. As we were heading out, I said, “Out of personal curiosity, since you’ve donned the mantle of prophet yourself lately, and the cut seems to fit, what do you see the Steelers doing this coming season?”

Ravenstahl shrugged.

“Probably tripping balls.”

Further reading:

Proposed law rooted in profiling, ESP
Council gets an earful on G20 rules
Binding resolutions
City to ban guns, NRA to ban common sense
Draft of Proposed Council Resolution (modeled after Boston resolution passed for 2004 Democratic National Convention)

Monday, Aug 31st, 2009 ↓
An open love letter to Bonnie Pfister, journalist extraordinaire

My dearest Bonnie Pfister,

I write to you not as a “citizen journalist,” a long-time reader of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, or as a fan of the paper’s ceaseless war on behalf of conservative values, or even as a star struck reader. No, I write to you as a man. A man for whom words are things — emotions writ large — and a man with a heart as big as the old Three Rivers Stadium.

Yes, that big!

Bonnie — may I call you Bonnie? — I know that you get letters from young men such as myself every day, handsome, strong-backed, yet weak-willed men engorged with a passion for the written word and the men and women who put pen to paper and make our world a better place for it.

Would I be a fool to believe that behind the fingers that caress your keyboard there must be a sensitive, caring, feeling, sensual, and — above all — intellectual woman? If so, then I am a fool, Bonnie. Perhaps I am the most foolish man in Allegheny County.

I hope that writing press releases for the Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership pays you well, I really do. You certainly deserve it, and you’ve certainly “paid your dues.” When you first came on the scene here in the Champion City and wowed us with your profiles of local spelling bee champs and cat ladies and dumpster divers you caused a lot of us to perk up and take notice. “Just you wait,” I thought, “you ain’t seen nothing from this broad yet.”

And boy howdy, was I right. I mean, some of this stuff you’re doing for the Partnership is not only fascinating, and inspiring, but I would go so far as to argue that you’re exemplifying the principles that you swore to uphold all those years ago when you graduated with a degree in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University. (What’s that called again? The Hypocritic Oath?)

If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t know the answers to such pressing questions as “What if protesters try to trash my place [of business]?” and “What if [the President] suddenly decides he can’t leave without a Primanti’s sandwich?”

And that, my dearest Pfister, is why I am your number one fan.

Love always,
Lenny

Tuesday, Aug 18th, 2009 ↓
The Power of Nonviolence

David Cortright is co-author, with George A. Lopez, of The Sanctions Decade: Assessing UN Strategies in the 1990s (Lynne Rienner). He is completing a new book, Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence in Theory and Practice.

Some activists believe that nonviolent methods are too weak, that more militant forms of disruption are needed to bring about social change. They are right to emphasize the importance of disruption. During the civil rights movement and other historical campaigns for justice, disruptive tactics were crucial to political effectiveness. Sociologist William Gamson called this phenomenon the “success of the unruly.” But disruption does not necessarily mean violence. In Seattle, Quebec and other cities, street lockdowns effectively blockaded key intersections. Groups of civil resisters occupied major crossroads, immobilizing themselves and refusing to leave. They courageously held their ground in the face of police attack and managed to remain in the streets long enough to disrupt official proceedings. These effective disruptive actions had nothing to do with the trashing of stores and the throwing of bricks and firebombs.

The belief that nonviolence is meek or ineffective reflects a misunderstanding of the rich tradition of nonviolent resistance. In recent decades the Gandhian method has achieved worldwide success. In the United States nonviolent action helped to achieve historic gains for African-Americans, farmworkers and women. Nonviolent methods brought down the Marcos regime in the Philippines, undermined Communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe and helped to end apartheid in South Africa. In Serbia trained nonviolent resisters helped to overthrow the Milosevic regime. The power of nonviolence is real, and has proven to be far more effective as a method of social change than the resort to violence and destruction.

The effectiveness of social protest depends on attracting the support of third parties. As one participant in the Quebec demonstrations put it, “The movement is about winning the hearts and minds of the tens of millions of working families who must be persuaded to support necessary political change.” When nonviolent activists display a willingness to sacrifice and remain dignified and disciplined in the face of repression, they are often able to win sympathy and political support from bystanders. This is what nonviolence activist Barbara Deming called the “genius” of nonviolence, what farm labor leader Cesar Chavez termed its “chemistry”—the ability of dignified suffering to attract sympathy and political support. Violence, by contrast, turns off potential supporters and pushes third parties toward the sidelines or the other side. Streetfighting tactics jeopardize the moral integrity and political legitimacy that are necessary for political success.

Read the whole megilla: here.

Monday, Aug 17th, 2009 ↓

This video, taken the last time a prestigious international group of policy makers converged at the Convention Center here in Pittsburgh, is eerily prescient of the upcoming G20 Summit.

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