This September Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from all over the world are gathering in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On September 24th and 25th 2009 they are meeting as the Group of 20, known as the G-20. The G-20 is made up of 19 countries from different regions in the world and the European Union. Combined they represent 90% of the global gross national product, 80% of world trade, and 2/3 of the world's population. Although the G-20 includes countries like Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia- the influence of imperialist countries like the US, Canada and France, is considerably greater at these meetings. Also invited to participate in the G-20 meetings are people representing the interests of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
It is assured that decisions will be made on Sept 24th and 25th in Pittsburgh that will affect billions of people around the world. It is also assured that these decisions will be made without any representatives of the people. That is the reason why people come onto the streets to protest meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors- whether it is the G-7, G-8 or G-20. The G-20 will not discuss issues important to poor and working people all over the world, like access to food and water, healthcare, education and housing. They will be discussing “further actions to assure a sound and sustainable recovery from the global financial and economic crisis” - in other words - how to create more profit for the banks of the richest countries in the world and how to further exploit poor, oppressed and working people.
In response to the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, antiwar, social justice, progressive organizations and coalitions from all over the US have called for protests and actions.
September 20th March for Jobs! September 20-25th Tent City!
Since November of 2008 the US Congress passed legislations giving $12.6Trillion to banks and financial institutions. This money was taken out of the US treasury, tax money paid by working and poor people in the US. This action, known as the “Bail Out of the Banks” inspired activists all over the US to start organizing for a “Bail Out for People!” instead- demanding that money in the US treasury be used for jobs, healthcare, education and homes. The Bail Out the People Movement (BOPM), a coalition of community, labor, religious, and grassroots activists, was founded, with its base in New York City.
For the G-20, BOPM has called for a march for jobs on September 20th in Pittsburgh. The march is demanding, among others, “A Job Program for ALL Now!” “Fund Peoples Needs, Not War and Greed!” This march will be followed by other activities throughout the week of Sept 20-25th, including a tent city- a place for activists and organizers to meet and share ideas for continued actions and events. The main site of BOPM organizing is the Monumental Baptist Church, located in a historically Black community in Pittsburgh, “the Hill,” close to the location of the G-20 Summit.
For the G-20 protest actions, the BOPM has gotten support from organizations, unions, and people all over the US. This has included the San Francisco Central Labor Council; ILWU Local 10; Donna DeWitt, the president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO Council; and antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan.
September 25th People’s March to the G-20!
Also scheduled is a people's march to the G-20 on September 25th. This march has the demands of “Money for Human Needs, Not for Wars and Occupations!” “Environmental Justice for the Earth and its Inhabitants!” “Jobs and Health Care for All!” This march has been endorsed by large numbers of groups and organizations, including national organizations like the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations, the Bail Out the People Movement, World Can’t Wait, Code Pink, Socialist Party USA, Radical Women, Interfaith Council for Peace in the Middle East and the ANSWER Coalition, to name a few. The central organization of this march is through the Thomas Merton Center, a peace and social justice centre in Pittsburgh, who, along with other organizations and individuals, is waging a struggle to secure the permits needed for the march. As of the time of the printing of this paper they are still fighting for the democratic right to demonstrate at the G-20.
As people are gathered in Pittsburgh for an entire week of actions demanding basic human rights it is important for people world wide to join in the effort. For more information please go to:
www.bailoutthepeople.org or http://pittsburghendthewar.org/
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