Three people in the midst of action during the G20 took the time to speak to me over the phone from Pittsburgh. I reported on what they said about the military and police presence and how they thought it was an overreaction---a part of a comprehensive strategy to create confusion and fear and suppress and criminalize dissent.
Each of these individuals had planned great programs that opened up conversation on a better world that isn't wholly defined by corporate, free market ideology.
Michael Leon Guerrero, organizational coordinator for the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJA) was in Pittsburgh all week working on organizing educational activities with local organizations. GGJA put together a tribunal for those who have been impacted to come and testify about the effects they have experienced from G20 policies.
Education conducted by GGJA centered around examining the root causes of the food, economic, and ecological crises facing America and the world. There has been a focus on what has happened as a result of moves to deregulate, privatize, and commodify almost everything a person needs in the world.
The tribunal allowed for domestic workers in the U.S. who don't have rights to collective bargaining under labor laws and who have really low wages to speak out. It gave voice to immigrants who have immigrated because of G20 policies especially farmers who have lost their land to corporate agriculture.
A person with the Thomas Merton Center Anti-War Committee organized a city-permitted march for people who are frustrated with the economy and all the G20-supported policies that have affected them. The Committee went door-to-door locally to educate members of the public on how G20 policies have directly led to the rise in unemployment and lack of jobs in America.