Attac United in Pittsburgh
As agreed two weeks ago by telephone across six time-zones we met on Wednesday morning with all Attac-members in Pittsburgh to exchange information, plan actions and to know each other. We are coming from Norway, Canada, Germany, Italy and Austria, we talk in German, French, but mainly in English with different accents. In the assembly hall underneath the Monumental Baptist Church – its administrators allowed the Tent City on their land and made thereby possible the only tent-city in Pittsburgh (all others were not allowed) – are meetings of other activists’ groups besides ours. Already the preparations for lunch are starting, we assist cutting a mountain of strawberries into little pieces. Is does not take long for us to start chatting about our experiences and acquaintances until now and about planning the coming days.
Hugo and Andrea are accredited with the press centre of the G20-summit, they supply us with the official information, and have tomorrow and the day after tomorrow (limited) access to the blocked parts of the city. Terje, Emilie, Claude, Jutta, Christian and I stick to the many events and actions for activists and have to remain on the other side of the fence. Like today a small plane will circle during the coming days above both sides, pulling a banner behind it: “Welcome G20!” On all busses too alternating with their destinations it is flashing at us: “Pittsburgh Welcomes The World”. The G20 – the world? As Joseph Stieglitz already stressed today, a group, in which as the only sub-Saharan African country South-Africa is represented, can surely not considered as being representative for all nations of the world.
Before going our own ways during the day we take a picture with our banner which shows one of our main demands: “Save people not banks! Disarm the financial markets!” Like anybody else here, organisations as well as individuals, black as well as white, young as well as old, from the USA, Chile, Norway, Germany as well as from Austria, we draw the attention to: The economy has to serve the people - and not the other way around.
(translation by Paul Woods, Coorditrad)