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(en) US, Media on the Pittsburghs Fifth Annual Anarchist Picnic! Prepare For G20

Date Sun, 02 Aug 2009 17:20:09 +0300

Local Anarchists Hold Picnic, Prepare For G20 - PITTSBURGH - Every year, local anarchists
hold an annual picnic and this year they were discussing the upcoming G20 Summit. ---- For
weeks the city has been preparing for the national spotlight of the G20 Summit. ---- But
wherever it goes, the summit always draws protestors; and anarchists are expected to hold
demonstrations here in September. ---- Every year, local anarchists hold an annual picnic,
but today's event was different because in 54 days world leaders are set to arrive in
Pittsburgh.- "We're involved in the Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project, which is a broader,
anti-authoritarian umbrella," said Patrick Young, of the Pittsburgh Organizing Group.
"Pittsburgh Organizing Group has put out a four-day call to action for a four-day

Organizers say there will be four days of anarchy-related events, including two days of
protests against world leaders meeting at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

"They've created this bubble that has led to the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes,
my lifetime, your lifetime," added Young. "We're seeing unemployment go through the roof.
We're seeing people across the country and around the world lose their homes."

He says there's lots of excitement among protestors because of Pittsburgh's history of
labor struggles during the rise of the steel mills in the early 1900s.

"We're going to see a mobilization, with everything from mass marches to smaller
demonstrations and pickets," said Young.

Young did not say how many protestors are expected to come to town, but he estimates at
least 2,000.

Protestor Paul McCarrier, a native of Portland, Maine, said he just arrived in the city a
few days ago. He said that he was arrested during the IMF World Bank protest in Washington
last spring.

"If the police get violent, which I fully expect that they do, I only hope the people of
Pittsburgh can realize that the violence was pretty much all one-sided," said McCarrier.
"That the violence is coming from the police, and not the protestors."

Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper says he hopes to have 4,000 officers on hand during
the summit. One of the goals is to make sure it's a safe event where people can express
their opinions in a peaceful manner.

(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


City anarchist group attracting attention as G-20 summit nears

Anarchist Picnic --- Guide to the G-20

They may not believe in authority or delegating tasks, but a group of anarchists on
Saturday hosted a perfectly organized picnic — down to the very last bowl of pasta salad.

The picnic held by the Pittsburgh Organizing Group attracted about 50 people to Schenley
Park, where members were quick to dispel the myth that anarchism is about chaos.

"We're not against organization," Alex Bradley, 29, of Bloomfield, said standing beside a
picnic table meticulously lined with cups, napkins, cookie trays, salads and watermelon.
"Just because you don't have authority doesn't mean we can't put together a picnic."

While this wasn't the group's first picnic, this year's event generated buzz because
members oppose the upcoming G-20 Summit, the September meeting that will bring to
Pittsburgh leaders from all over the world.

The group, known as POG, is not planning any protests around the G-20 events but its
members are free to support the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project, a separate group that
is planning several marches the week of the summit.

Mel Packer of Point Breeze brought a tray of stuffed grape leaves and, while not an
official member of the POG, expressed support of its members, who are young people who
"want to build a better world."

"This is all part of the larger picture of trying to bring about a more sane world," said
Packer, 64, a former president of the Thomas Merton Center in Garfield. "You have to look
at yourself in the mirror and say, 'What did I do to make this world a better place?'"

Like some traditional summer picnics, yesterday's event included a balloon toss and a
three-legged race. It also featured a trivia contest in which teams answered questions
about the history of anarchism posed by University of Pittsburgh student Kenyon Zimmer of
Bloomfield. Anarchism holds that all forms of government authority are unnecessary and
advocates a society based on voluntary cooperation.

Joanna Tamburino, who had been chosen by consensus to talk to reporters, said group
members volunteered to take on the different activities for the picnic.

"People choose the tasks," said Tamburino, 30, noting that the POG has no leadership roles
such as president or vice president. "There's no delegation of tasks. It's a myth that
tasks need to be delegated."

Tamburino said she was well aware of jokes about anarchists.

"How does an anarchist throw a picnic?" she said. "I've heard all the jokes. But
anarchists are like anyone else. We like picnics, we play games. It's not like we're aliens."
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