I am writing this letter from the G20 summit demonstrations on the site of the Tent City of the dedicated to the homeless, poor, and unemployed. We are here with a group of 10 from Florida. 7 of our group are homeless and unemployed. The rest are working poor. We arrived safely on Sunday, Sept. 20th.
We have been very busy since we arrived. We participated in a March for jobs on Sunday with more then 1200 in our march. Monday and Tuesday we participated in activities at our Tent City. On Tuesday, we participated in 2 marches on Tuesday. One march was for an end to Police Repression and harassment both at the G20 and also throughout our communities.
There were testimonies of Police harassment at this event describing being detained for no reason, raiding people’s campsites, invasive Police presence in neighborhoods (shinning lights in people’s homes at night, Police dogs barking, etc.), and in one case 45 Police in Riot gear attacking a community farm and destroying gardens that had vegetables that were used to feed the demonstraters. And, in one case a group was detained trying to come to our campsite with Bail Out People.
In addition, to this protest, Bail Out People and the PPEHRC organized a march and demonstration on Mellon Bank, one of the largest banks in Pennsylvania. It was known for predatory lending and foreclosures. We had several people from our group speak at this demonstration and the march on Sunday and participate in a press conference, including myself. Today, is going to be a full day of teach-ins, demos, and film showings.
We expect Police repression to intensify. There are 2000 National Guard troops here, as well as armoured vehicles and several blackhawk and Apache helicopters here. You can, at times, feel the tension. It seem crazy to have such overkill in a Militarized presence. It is being locked down like a Police state.
In closing, please expect more updates. For more information see http://www.refugestpete.org or http://www.economichumanrights.org. Poor and homeless families from PPEHRC from other parts of the U.S. will be joining us tomorrow.
Thank you, Rev. Bruce Wright
The Refuge, St. Petersburg, Florida
Poor People’s Economic HUman Rights Campaign (PPEHRC)