ACTION ALERT: Demand Release of G-20 Detainees! Drop All Charges and End Repression NOW!
September 28, 2009
Bail Our the People
ign the online petition to Federal Officials, Congressional leaders, the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation, the Pennsylvania Legislature, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Police Chief, Pittsburgh city officials, Pittsburgh business leaders, the Allegheny County Council and local and national media demanding an immediate release of all detainees, that all charges be dropped, and calling for an independent investigation.
ACTION ALERT: Demand Release of G-20 Detainees! Drop All Charges and End Repression NOW!
Sign the online petition to Federal Officials, Congressional leaders, the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation, the Pennsylvania Legislature, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Police Chief, Pittsburgh city officials, Pittsburgh business leaders, the Allegheny County Council and local and national media demanding an immediate release of all detainees, that all charges be dropped, and calling for an independent investigation, at http://www.bailoutpeople.org/releaseg20arrestees.shtml
Repressive cop forces provoke violence, arrests in Pittsburgh
Join the call to release all detainees, drop all charges and for an independent investigation now!
The repressive cop forces of homeland security locked down the people of Pittsburgh during the G-20 economic summit – bringing with them violence, arrests and intimidation. Bail Out the People Movement (BOPM) demands that all 150 arrestees be accounted for and released; all charges be dropped and a public apology be made to the people of Pittsburgh by County Executive Dan Onorato Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, police chief Nate Harper, and other officials responsible for the massive repressive forces and an independent labor-community-student investigation of the repressive actions especially directed against youth.
On Thurs, Sept. 24 and Fri., Sept. 25, government sweeps by the Pittsburgh police and more than 4,000 additional cops, state troopers and national guard, gave rise to videos and eyewitness reports starkly reminiscent of the repression by U.S. trained military dictatorships in Latin America i.e. youth wrestled into unmarked cars by police dressed in military fatigue uniforms and repressive forces posing for photos with kneeling captives.
Experiments with high-tech sound weaponry also reportedly used in Honduras, gases and other “less-lethal” crowd control became the order of the day on Sept. 25 when police surrounded and arrested youth gathered in Schenley Plaza near the University of Pittsburgh in the Oakland neighborhood. Arrestees reported that after the order to disperse, all exit routes were blocked and more than 100 people were arrested. Among them was a Pittsburgh-Post Gazette newspaper reporter.
On the scene, Dante Strobino from FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together) wrote: “The police began to occupy the park and forcefully removed everyone. As students began to gather around to check it out, the riot police got more hyped up. There were no chants, no signs, no banners, no folks dressed in black and no provocation. The police threw several tear gas and smoke bombs at the crowd again and pushed them further back down commercial streets toward bars and restaurants. They also chased people into the huge dormitory towers and attacked students as they left their residences. Students were hanging out the windows, taking pictures in awe."
"Forbes St. was blocked off by hundreds of riot cops while surrounding contingents of cops moved in on the other areas of the campus to corral people inside the area. Police brutality had been witnessed with folks being thrown to the ground and shot with rubber bullets, media being pepper sprayed and gassed. Protesters and students alike are being held in the dorm towers unable to leave in fear of arrest. Other students cannot cross Fifth Ave. to get to their residences without being thrown to the ground."
"What is most striking about being here is seeing the incredible police repression both Thursday and Friday night in Oakland, near U of Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University, two universities with mostly white, mostly class-privileged students. As Larry Holmes commented during the BOPM Tent City, at any given normal day the police usually target and harass the Black community, but these two days not only are those under normal occupation, but the police are targeting young white folks, too.”
Sean O'Sullivan, senior at University of Pittsburgh, who was not taking part in the protests earlier in the day, stated "It was the police who started the violence and ended up finishing the violence. It felt like a war zone...the police kept becoming more and more violent, taking over more and more of the street. I couldn't get to my house even until 3 a.m. on Thursday."
Jillian Dowis, sophomore at Ohio University from Students for a Democratic Society who came to Pittsburgh to protest the G-20's policies, speaking of her experience on the night of Sept. 25, said "After a reporter got maced in face and we brought him to steps of chapel. The cops swarmed around us and arrested guy that was injured, he could barely breath, trying to get him away from crowd. As kids tried to run away they picked us off one by one. My friend called her dad. Then a cop said to us, 'Shut the f_ck up and get off the goddamn phone'. My friend was was trying to say bye and the cop grabbed her by head and slammed her head into the ground. They were being way forceful and too aggressive and intentionally put on handcuffs way too tight."
A 24-hour continuous vigil is ongoing at the Allegheny County Jail until all arrestees are released.
Sign the online petition at http://www.bailoutpeople.org/releaseg20arrestees.shtml to send email messages to officials demanding the immediate release of those arrested and an independent investigation. The sample text of the appeal follows:
To: Pittsburgh Mayor Ravenstahl, Pittsburgh City Council, Pittsburgh Police Chief, Allegheny County Council
CC: PA Congressional Delegation, Congressional Leaders, the PA Legislature, Federal Officials, Pittsburgh business leaders, members of the Pittsburgh and national media
I demand that the military occupation of Pittsburgh be disbanded immediately; all charges against the people arrested in Pittsburgh on Sept. 24 and 25 especially the youth – including those involved in direct action confronting the G-20 summit – be dropped. Everyone detained must be accounted for and released. I support an independent worker-community-student investigation of the homeland security occupation and repression during the G-20 summit.
(your name appended here)
VIDEOS OF POLICE REPRESSION:
College students trapped in stairwell and gassed, attacked
Police assault couple in street
Police pose while taking picture of arrested student
ACTION: Outraged by the Police/military Repression of Protest at the G-20 in Pittsburg?
Sign this Letter!
To: Homeland Security & Elected Officials & Law Enforcement in Pennsylvania
Thousands of people gathered in Pittsburgh during the recent "G-20" meetings came to dissent and express political demands. They were repeatedly denied the right to assemble over several days, and were met with a militarized police state.
We denounce the city of Pittsburgh, especially the Mayor, for combining domestic and military agencies for the purposes of surveillance of the protesters; riot squads on bicycles, and military troop transports; use of agent infiltrators into political groups, and provocateurs on the streets; revocation and denial of permits to assemble and mass arrests of protesters & bystanders alike, with weapons of mass destruction used on the people who only stand to exercise their freedom of speech.
Nearly 300 people were arrested, including juveniles. Some were physically abused, with use of batons and projectile devices. The charges are demonstrably political charges devoid of actual crimes committed.
Such abuses against protesters are NOT acceptable. We demand:
1) Charges against people involved in political protest at the G-20 be dropped immediately.
2) A thorough investigation of methods employed by law enforcement, and directed by Homeland Security and Chief of Police, including the crowd control methods and mass arrests; the conditions of detention of those arrested; and any ongoing surveillance and interference with the rights of those accused, arrested, or involved in the protests are contrary to the expectation of the rights to freedom of speech and assembly. Such investigations must include public hearings, and a real search for the truth in what happened.
3) A public report, dissociating your city from those methods found to suppress speech and assembly, and guarantee to the people that they will not be used again.
4) Rejection of the use of military involvement, or the use of federal agents in future protests.
The most blatant show of military and police force left protesters tear-gassed, subject to piercing sound, shot with rubber bullets, and not allowed to assemble, while the population of Pittsburgh was kept off the streets and rounded up along with people there to deliver messages of opposition to the G-20 ministers.
We put a quick letter together which we will deliver on Thursday. Please circulate this link everywhere so that thousands sign on.
READ Cindy Sheehan's letter from Pittsburgh
Coverage from Rob Kall, National Lawyers Guild
WATCH video and here and here.
SIGN this letter of outrage, to be sent to federal and PA authorities.
CONTACT these officials:
• Luke Ravenstahl: Mayor of Pittsburgh 412-255-2626
• Nathan Harper: Chief of Police, Pittsburgh 412-323-7800
• Ed Rendell: Governor of Pennsylvania 717 787-2500
People of conscience must stand together in outrage and not accept this repression from the government on the people. We cannot allow these actions to go quietly into the night and be forgotten.
We are seizing the opportunity to have our voices heard in unison, denouncing the fascist direction of this country. It is with the utmost urgency and for the sake of stopping the police state and reversing this course that WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.
By signing this statement we pledge to do everything we can to call attention to, and demand justice for those unjustly arrested and charged at the G-20 in Pittsburgh. The world can't wait!
If you have further ideas, writings, reports, photos, please send them!
Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait
World Can't Wait - firstname.lastname@example.org - 866.973.4463 - 305 W. Broadway #185, NY, NY 10013
Send checks or money orders, payable to "World Can't Wait":
World Can't Wait
305 W. Broadway #185
New York, NY 10013