Mudcat Café message #2731846 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123871   Message #2731846
Posted By: Azizi
26-Sep-09 - 01:07 PM
Thread Name: This is no time to be silent...G20 in Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: This is no time to be silent...G20 in Pittsburgh
In my opinion, the civil rights movement in the United States (mid 1950s to 1968) was relatively successful in reaching its goals because it was non-violent. I believe that those courageous and principled Black people and non-Black people who risked their lives, their families' lives, and their livelihoods by participating in sit-ins, marches, and freedom rides galvanized support for their caus to a large extent because they were non-violent. I further believe that the media coverage of the violent actions that were leveled against those non-violent demonstrators shocked many people and helped sway public opinion toward the side of the protestors.

Unfortunately, the other thing that helped convince those who were open to being convinced about the need for significant changes and more equity in major American institutions were racist, horrifying acts such as the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama church bombing
that killed four young girls attending Sunday school.

And yes, I'm aware that there were also riots (rebellions) that happened in response to that tragic events (and also to Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr. being assasinated). Bowever, my point is that I believe that to a much larger degree than is the case today with the G20 protestors, more people in the general public view the Civil Rights protestors as being non-violent.

Furthermore, it seems to me that the goals of the civil rights protestors were more clear cut and easier to explain than "globilization".

While I applaud the conviction of those who are dedicated to want to make the world a more equitable place, I'm just concerned that the way some protestors go about protesting may be counter-productive to their goals (goals which I, in a broad sense, agree with).


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is my adopted city. I can confirm that there has been a shut down of access & services in certain areas of the city (particularly in the downtown section, and in the university area of Oakland which is an important area of the city.

Because the public transportation system was affected by the virtual closing of the downtown area, and the expected delays and disruptions in Oakland, all public school schools and most privates schools were closed since around 2 PM or so on Wednesday. Those schools will remain closed until Tuesday morning (since Monday is a Jewish holiday). Federal courts, and federal offices, and public buildings such as the post offices downtown, and the museum/art centers in Oakland were closed. (And my dentist office downtown was closed since Wednesday which is why I had a much longer than usually wait though he still took me for an emergency appointment on Tuesday.

I know that the disruption in routines was a hardship for some people, though it wasn't really a hardship for me.

I really don't know what the G20 summit accomplished in the short or long term for the world, or in the short term for the people who live in the Greater Pittsburgh area. And I don't know if the G20 protestors succeeded in reaching their goals. But if the question is "Did the G20 protestors succeed in raising awareness of their goals and reaching the hearts & minds of many Pittsburghers to their cause/s?", I'd have to answer "No".