Political Protest is Not Criminal!

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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.

Political Protest at the G-20 in Pittsburgh Leads to Outrage at the police and military repression

Cindy Sheehan’s letter from Pittsburgh:

Dear Men,

I am calling you “Men” because I am loathe to call you “gentlemen” due to fact that the behavior of your hired thugs in the City of Pittsburgh on the days of September 24 and 25 was shameful. True gentlemen would never allow such violence to be perpetrated from heavily armed and armored grown men to our children.

I have been watching the propaganda news about the protests against the G20 meetings here in Pittsburgh and all of the blame is placed on the activists. These are pure fabrications.

I was in the thick of things here in Pittsburgh for two and a half days and I can assure you that ALL of the violence I witnessed, and I witnessed many acts (I, myself, was even tear gassed, threatened with drawn guns, attacked by an LRAD {Long Range Acoustic Device} and verbally abused and harassed by your storm troopers) was instigated/perpetrated by cops/military that seemed far better equipped than our soldiers in combat zones. My son would probably still be alive if he had the equipment of your Urban-American invaders/occupiers.

Besides resisters being targeted, the weapons that were used by the paid thugs were used in residential neighborhoods or college campuses with accompanying and significant “collateral damage.” I witnessed a 60ish year-old woman having a panic attack on her doorstep in Lawrenceville and mothers with babies getting caught in your crap-storm.

I saw one young student name Matt on his bike near his dorm at UPITT being violently tackled by one of your goons and he was just trying to get to his dorm room. I saw two young people named Emily and Max shot with rubber bullets for the crime of walking down the street.

I and about 2000 other people were brutally attacked when we were all just peaceably gathering to march to express our First Amendment rights. Not one window was broken, not one trashcan was overturned, when about 10 minutes into the march, we were prohibited from the free expression of our rights.

I was in Schenley Plaza last night with three of my friends just observing the police brutality, when we were chased away with weapons and tear gas and we had to run about two miles from your goons to stay safe. I am still suffering the affects of the tear gas ten hours later and am so sick, I could not get on a plane this morning. We were not, and the young people were not, doing anything illegal.

“Men,” as a mother, I am writing to say that I am extremely proud of our young people who came out to demonstrate against your vicious economic and foreign policies that always orient towards war. I am as proud of them as I am ashamed of you and your paid thugs. I am often ashamed to be an American for what you all do to other countries, but am profoundly ashamed at what happened in the City of Pittsburgh in the State of Pennsylvania this week. I saw dozens of instances of your paid thugs targeting young people and as far as I am concerned, that makes them no better than child abusers.

The G20 meeting declared that you all were masters of the universe, and we just gathered to assert or re-assert our sovereignty as people of conscience, and you all were very effective at shutting our voices off.

You obviously don’t need to use your WMD on peaceful protestors, but the longer and harder that you act like thugs, the more loud, persistent and insistent our resistance will become. We have the basic human right to stand up and fight back against your violence and oppression.

We clearly do not want to hurt you (you’re the ones with the weapons, remember), but conversely, you clearly want to hurt us, and very badly.

We can’t allow you to do that anymore!

As a mother and as a citizen of this failing state, I insist, no I demand, the release of any of the G20 political prisoners that you are still illegally detaining. I also demand an apology from you all, to myself, the other resisters, and this nation, for your unacceptable behavior of the past few days.

I also demand disciplinary action taken against the true thugs with the badges who committed these crimes.

Looking forward to hearing from you all,

Cindy Sheehan

Peace Mom and Mother of

Casey Sheehan

KIA in Iraq

SIGN this letter of outrage [no longer online], to be sent to federal and PA authorities. Deadline: 10-1-2009

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!

See also WorldCantWait.org for ongoing coverage of this outrage.