Shadyside Solidarity Appreciated by G8 Protestors in Europe

This is an excerpt from a series of report backs from infoshop news written by an anarchist from the US who participated in the resistance against the G8 summit in Rostock, Germany:

“Every solidarity action I read about was related to those around me. Every solidarity action brought nothing but pleasure, comfort and happiness. Thank you Pittsburg, Portland, Tacoma, San Francisco and everyone else in the US who helped us. Everyone here thanks you and encourages you. There are Shadysides and Starbucks all over the world and every one of them that is attacked or gets a brick through its window is more than just that; it signifies, to those on the other side of the oceans, that we are in fact all in this together, that we are united in thought and tactics and goals, that we do not need centralized authority to have our movement be a worldwide one. A torn up Shadyside (place in Pittsburg) might seem small if it is compared to something. How about we don’t compare anything we do to anything else, huh? How about we just DO? Does that sound good?”


“Progressive” Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry (part 3.)

 Part 1.                  Part 2.                Part 3.

It’s still technically Spring, and it’s not an ozone action day, so that must be love in the air. Could Bill Peduto’s amateur counterinsurgency hobby lead him down the aisle? Apparently one Pittsburgh Craiglsist user is hoping so:

City Councilman at a press confrence – Don’t blame me for loving you

Reply to:
Date: 2007-06-12, 4:15PM EDTI was at a press conference last week called by a local “progressive” Democrat. He was tall, with dark hair (that I think was real even though it looked like a rug) and dark eyes deeper than the city’s money problems. He was taking about vandalism on Walnut Street against the G8 summit Germany. As he blamed the “Pittsburgh Organizing Committee”, his voice electrified me like a double-shot of campesiños’ blood from Starbucks. Please Bill, don’t blame me for loving you like you blamed POG for those windows! Don’t slander my heart, Billy, don’t slander my heart!!

Peduto’s accusations are right out of the Beltway democrat playbook. It would seem he was trying to position himself a “rule of law” kind of guy, who was willing to come down hard on the “uncontrollable” (and non-voting) rabble that pundits incorrectly identify as the fringes of the democratic party. I don’t blame him for trying, since it seemed to be working for the DLC, but like the US arming of of Sunni fundamentalists is Afghanistan in the 1980’s ( a mistake that they seem to be eager to repeat) there are sometimes unintended consequences.By focusing on the deep-pocketed, dried-up husks and the parents of fertility-drug triplets (I guess rich people sex doesn’t work in any way?) who frequent Walnut Street, and calling for a press conference only after their stuff was broke, but not the damages at the Food “Co-op” or the Quiet Storm, he alienated all but the most glassy-eyed of his young, liberal base. Calls to his office from POG members and supporters were ignored, and then the “progressive” cried that he “was being threatened”. This was also a mistake, since it would not be easy to pretend that in 2007, that it is possible to threaten a politician, your superior in the eyes of the law, repeatedly, over the telephone.Eventually, Peduto’s supporters in the so-called “creative class”, called him on his bullshit, and began calling his office, and sending email, the way you’re supposed to in a bourgeois democracy. They apparently had no luck either, but at some point Peduto had what an alcoholic would call “a moment of clarity” and contacted someone from POG and I would hope some of his supporters, but given the length and breadth of his freakout, it’s hard to say.

POG issued what they hope to be their last word on the matter yesterday.

And hopefully after a look at the media and its role in this debacle, I can issue my last word on this matter.

“Progressive” Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry (part 2.)

Part 1.                    Part 2.                    Part 3. 

This will have to tide you over until I can quit spitting coffee out of my nose from Peduto’s silliness in the city paper.

I’m not sure what contemporary US politicians are attempting to say when they declare themselves to be “progressive”. The center has moved so far to the right, that today, Barack Obama would be bashing that pinko, Richard Nixon, as being “unpatriotic”.

What then is the basis for declaring oneself “progressive” and still function as a cog in Pittsburgh’s , old timey, 19th century, Democrat patronage machine? I’ve eliminated every other possibility, except that self-described “liberal” Bill Peduto is “progressive” because he is willing to accept kickbacks from outfits not controlled by his relatives. What else could it possibly mean?

Would Mr. Peduto “support the arts” if the economically disadvantaged areas of his district were not colonized by artists flush with subsidies, to make the neighborhoods more appealing to developers?

Is it “progressive” to support IMF and World Bank-style, neoliberalism, by invoking Act 47 and surrendering the City to a cadre of suburban lawyers?

There are also internet rumors of Peduto, alleged “antiwar credentials”, I’m not sure what that’s supposed to entail at theBill Peduto gets his ‘antiwar credentials’ City Council level, but he is a “Patriot Award” recipient.

But the realm of privacy and civil liberties is where Peduto proves he is qualified to play with the big boys. A hallmark of self-described “liberal” political activity is the exhibiting the courage to draft, and even vote for, the crucial “symbolic, non-binding resolutions” when the pressure is on. In 2004, Peduto bravely stood with other City Council members across the US, as well as junior high student governments, and passed a symbolic, non-binding resolution against the USA PATRIOT Act, essentially a legislative bumper sticker. In the real world, however, Peduto, was all too happy to lend his vote to install a federally-funded, citywide surveillance system. I’m sure that the “good old boys” wanted to use a local contractor to spy on us, but Rhode Island based Live Wave Inc. was probably the “progressive” choice. Fair trade, organic, carbon neutral, robotic spy cameras perhaps?

“Progressive”Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry (part 1.)

Part 1. Part 2.  Part 3.

Pittsburgh City Council parking pass holder and self-described “liberal”, Bill Peduto, has gotten a little nutty in his attempt to reassure the people who shop on Walnut Street, that the unwashed masses have not taken Lucy Parson’s admonition to heart:

Let every dirty, lousy tramp arm himself with a revolver or knife on the steps of the palace of the rich and stab or shoot their owners as they come out. Let us kill them without mercy, and let it be a war of extermination and without pity

This year’s G8 summit in Germany prompted solidarity actions in the form of minor economic sabotage in a wealthy shopping district, a counter recruitment picket called for by local activists/anarchists, the Pittsburgh Organizing Group (POG), as well as minor damages to a locally owned coffee shop integral to the gentrification of the East End, and a food co-op which took it’s seat with Starbucks and the rest by doing what it had to do to thwart an IWW organizing drive, although in the case of the co-op and coffee shop, apparently no mention was made of the local issues, only the G8.

For once, the picket was not the problem, but a message board frequented by local hipsters and a parody by an anonymous poster (another anonymous parody quipped at the reaction) on the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center jumped to the same illogical conclusion favored by allegedly less thoughtful souls such as marine recruiters and right-wing, yuppie bloggers: that a non-violent, above-ground, group with ties to many other progressive organizations would put themselves and their supporters at risk with these kinds of actions. It is unlikely that POG would also seek to further polarize segments of the local social justice community. What was predictable was the outrage from the leisure classes, especially the ones who feel they can abate the ill effects of capitalism through responsible buying and selling, which is similar to their faith in the electoral process. Granted there is always a more appropriate window to break, but that’s not my decision.

This was all idiotic enough, but it didn’t go “through the looking glass” until District 8’s own self-described “progressive” Bill Peduto, staged a press conference to comfort his wealthy constituents, and possibly to impress some of the young ladies who frequent Shadyside’s public houses.

To be continued…