Thousands of people gathered in Pittsburgh during the recent "G-20" meetings came to dissent and express political demands. They were repeatedly denied the right to assemble over several days, and were met with a militarized police state.
We denounce the city of Pittsburgh, especially the Mayor, for combining domestic and military agencies for the purposes of surveillance of the protesters; riot squads on bicycles, and military troop transports; use of agent infiltrators into political groups, and provocateurs on the streets; revocation and denial of permits to assemble and mass arrests of protesters & bystanders alike, with weapons of mass destruction used on the people who only stand to exercise their freedom of speech.
Nearly 300 people were arrested, including juveniles. Some were physically abused, with use of batons and projectile devices. The charges are demonstrably political charges devoid of actual crimes committed.
Such abuses against protesters are NOT acceptable. We demand:
1) Charges against people involved in political protest at the G-20 be dropped immediately.
2) A thorough investigation of methods employed by law enforcement, and directed by Homeland Security and Chief of Police, including the crowd control methods and mass arrests; the conditions of detention of those arrested; and any ongoing surveillance and interference with the rights of those accused, arrested, or involved in the protests are contrary to the expectation of the rights to freedom of speech and assembly. Such investigations must include public hearings, and a real search for the truth in what happened.
3) A public report, dissociating your city from those methods found to suppress speech and assembly, and guarantee to the people that they will not be used again.
4) Rejection of the use of military involvement, or the use of federal agents in future protests.