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Mixed Blessings: Rev Billy in AP coverage of Pittsburgh G-20 protests

KW: The AP Story has a certain bias towards the status quo. The article paints an unflattering portrait of the anarchists. But, at least it blames “a small group” or anarchists of throwing things, rather than the hundreds of other protesters. (But, just another divide and conquer tactic?) Also, the story mentioned Reverend Billy Talen, and kind of makes it look like he led the un-permitted march. Which may not sound like a good thing considering the results. The AP story also fails to mention that Reverend Billy is a candidate for Mayor of New York City, or even that Reverend Billy is a green.

(excerpt from) The Indy Channel / AP Story
G-20 Opponents, Police Clash In Pittsburgh
Officers Fire Pepper Spray, Tear Gas

Daniel Lovering, Associated Press Writers/ 2:41 pm EDT September 24, 2009

PITTSBURGH — Police threw canisters of pepper spray and smoke at anarchists protesting the Group of 20 summit Thursday after the marchers responded to calls to disperse by rolling trash bins and throwing rocks.

The march turned chaotic at just about the same time that President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle arrived for a meeting with leaders of the world’s major economies…

…The hundreds of marchers had included small groups of self-described anarchists, some wearing dark clothes and bandanas and carrying black flags and others wearing helmets and safety goggles. Some held a banner that read, “No borders, no thanks.” Another banner read, “No hope in capitalism.”…

An activist from New York City, dressed in a white suit with a preacher’s collar, kicked off the march with a speech through a bullhorn.

“They are not operating on Earth time. … They are accommodating the devil,” he said. “To love democracy and to love the earth is to be a radical now.”

The activist, Billy Talen, travels the country preaching against consumerism. He initially identified himself as “the Rev. Billy from the Church of Life After Shopping.”

The G-20 summit begins Thursday evening with a welcome ceremony and ends late Friday afternoon after a day of meetings at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Dignitaries were arriving in waves and were heading to a city under heavy security. Police and National Guard troops guarded many downtown intersections, and a maze of tall metal fences and concrete barriers shunted cars and pedestrians.

One Response

  1. Pittsburgh’s G-20 story: Take an expressway from town and disappear into desolate ‘hoods and encounter the civilization of menace. Pittsburgh, a dual city! The glass wonder of PPG Place and/or the G-20 Summit is a faded memory. Here in the ‘hood lives lie abandoned as far as the eye can see.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEukcWW5dM0

    That is: For the most part, African-American Pittsburgh seems to be invisible, not only to the public relations hucksters who tout Pittsburgh’s successes, but we are equally invisible to the protesters.

    Certainly, black Pittsburgh is as proud as anybody in that the black President we worked so hard to elect has selected Pittsburgh as the host of the G-20 Summit. We even enjoy the re-invention of Pittsburgh from a dirty, smoky steel-churning history to the bright, clean, green financial success that the business leaders and politicians boast about so loudly. Nobody is more proud of the Super Bowl winning African-American coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin. But none of that feel-good stuff erases the pain of the stubbornly high unemployment among African American young adults and the staggering dropout rate for young black males from the public school system.

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