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When The G20 Comes To Town



The title of this post almost sounds like a song title for something Spingsteen might have written, but instead it leads into something I’ve been wondering about ever since President Obama announced the next G20 was to be hosted here in my hometown of Pittsburgh.

Because when the G20 comes to town, bringing leaders of nations, economics and industry together, it also brings plenty of vocal protesters too.

Now, I’ve got nothing against civil protest, I believe in it as an effective tool for spawning change where change is necessary. But my problem with G20 protesting is I simply can’t figure out what exactly the majority of these protesters are protesting for, or against?

G20 Protests

G20 Protests

For example, I watched the events unfold in London, then the following days of non-stop coverage, analysis and sensationalism of those events on cable news… and while it was all very entertaining (how sick we’ve become), to this day I don’t understand the actual motivations behind the most roudy and vocal of the protesting groups.

They had no clear message or agenda that I could grasp, it just seemed as though they showed up to cause trouble and unrest simply for the sake of causing trouble and unrest.

How is that helpful to any cause?

I’m not suggesting that there aren’t valid reasons and causes that could be advanced–or at least raised into an ongoing International discussion–through taking advantage of the spotlight shining on the G20; I’m just saying that they should be clear and never accompanied by violence and vandalism.

Otherwise, the agendas aren’t advanced, they’re just stripped of any meaningful discourse that an organized and peaceful demonstration could have spawned.

So, as I watch conversations and discussions taking place across Twitter and other social networks right now, and I see idiots–most of whom aren’t from Pittsburgh–making calls for protest gathering here during the G20 without giving any specific explanations for what or why they’re calling for the protest, but using words like “anarchy”…


I’m just thankful that our local leaders have made the necessary plans to have enough police on hand to deal with any trouble seeking posers–and keep our streets safe for residents, G20 attendees and legitimate demonstrators or protesters wanting to be heard.

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Technorati Tags: G20, Pittsburgh, protests

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Posted by Scott Bannon on July 26, 2009.

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