Leaders and protesters to Pittsburgh

World leaders and protesters are heading to Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center on September 24–25, 2009, politicians will be discussing ways to help solve the global financial crisis while protesters will advocate everything from universal health care to an end to capitalism.

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

U.S. President Barack Obama volunteered to host this summit, initially planning to hold it in New York City and coordinating it with the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.

However, due to coordination issues, on May 28, 2009, the Obama Administration announced a change of venue to Pittsburgh in order to highlight the city’s economic recovery following the collapse of its manufacturing sector in the latter half of the 20th century.

In response to the Global credit crisis, a G20 summit in one year was proposed shortly after the London summit in April 2009. The second G20 2009 summit will hopefully evaluate the measures taken in April 2009 in London and implement new policies which will stimulate the global economy.

Activists met in Pittsburgh last Saturday to discuss the issues they wanted to push. Speakers included state senator Jim Ferlo of Pittsburgh who rebuked what he called the myth of the free market. “I want to unite people in peaceful speech and peaceful discussion,” Ferlo said. “I encourage each one of you to take to the streets this week.”

An extra 4,000 police have been transported to Pittsburgh ahead of the summit, and between 100 and 200 nonviolent prisoners were released from the local jail to make room for protesters. Meanwhile the G20 leaders are sparring over whether or not to cap banker bonuses in financial industries. G20 ministers also plan to discuss rising protectionism.

At the Group of 8 meeting earlier this year in London the group decided to pledge $750 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF is seeking for more money from the G20 and is responsible for loaning money to countries in exchange for the implementation of free market policies. G20 countries are responsible for 80% of the world’s trade.

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