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News ::
Pittsburgh: Jan 24-26th Regional Anti-War convergence. (english)
10 Dec 2002
info on the regional convergence. as the anarchist call to action says "We are tired of just talking. Our education efforts must be accompanied by direct action aimed at changing the war calculations of the elite."
Pittsburgh is having it's largest mobilization in 10 years and we need your help to make it a sucess. The majority of convergence events are being organized by the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, The Thomas Merton Center, and the Pittsburgh Anti-War Committee.

Tactics: Since September the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, the Thomas Merton Center and organizations/affinity groups from throughout the region have been working on different elements of a regional convergence against war to take place January 24-26th, 2003 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This includes pog's organizing of a framework for large scale direct action against war as part of a larger mobilization that weekend. We are all working together to put on a comprehensive weekend of actions and events. The events of the weekend include: a large permitted rally, numerous teach-ins, forums, and other educational events, marches of all kinds, direct action, poetry readings for peace, street threatre, 15+ hours of concerts, vigils, a parade procession!, radical cheering and signing, dancing, various bloc's, and many other to be determined activities. If you are opposed to the Government’s militaristic policies at home and abroad there is a place for you at these events. Not everyone will want to attend every event and that's ok. Each of us can take part as we see fit. Effectiveness is in diversity. We support a diversity of non-violent tactics from flyering, vigils, holding signs on the corner, pre-announced (to the police) symbolic arrests, and active blockades. We also welcome autonomous actions. There are MANY opinions within the peace movement on what an effective direct action entails and it's likely that Jan 24-26th will reflect a multitude of these. We encourage all groups and individuals opposed to the ongoing war to open the lines of communication so that we can come together and figure out ways to have our actions work in tandem.

Housing: If you need, or can offer housing email us. There are a lot of people coming from outside Pittsburgh and we need to find places for them to sleep. We currently have only 68 beds available. If you can put people up during the convergence please email us with the following info: where you live (this won't be made public until we match you up), How many, what arrangements (bed, floor), what days, your house policy on smoking, whether you have cats, and any other considerations. We will match requests with offers and email each party with the others contact info.

Press Conference: January 9th. This press conference will be to talk about the weekends events. We will primarily be addressing the plans for mass direct action.

Spokescouncil: Sunday January 5th, 2:00pm This is a meeting to help finalize the direct action framework and allow groups outside Pittsburgh to give input into events. If you plan on attending the January direct action events, but are outside Pittsburgh we encourage you to send a representative to the meeting.

Schedule of Events This is the framework of events happening during the weekend of the convergence. All events should be considered separate and do not imply endorsement of the other things happening.

Friday January 24th-
5:00pm-7:00pm Teach-in
8:00pm-2:00am Shows

Saturday January 25th-
9:00am-2:00pm Trainings: Medical/Legal/Direct Action. All trainings are taking place at the convergence space
11:00am-2:00pm Workshops
12:00-1:00pm Protest Vigils (these have been happening weekly) East Liberty: corner of Penn & Highland Ave . Northside: Allegheny UU Church, Resace Place and North Ave
1:00pm Poems for Peace Reading: Free. Following the vigil. East Liberty Presbyterian Church at the corner of Penn and Highland Ave. Join some of Pittsburgh most celebrated poets as they raise their voices.
3:00pm-5:00pm Parade For Peace procession. A permitted display of our colorful side. Make a costume, sign, or float! bring musical instruments.
6:30pm- 8:30pm Spokescouncil at the convergence space
8:00pm-2:00am Shows
8:00pm-All Night Vigil for Peace

Sunday January 26th- Day of Action
1:00pm-3:00pm Mass March and Rally at Soldiers and Sailors field (University of Pittsburgh)
3:30pm Mass direct action + autonomous actions. Disrupt and expose the war machine. (Oakland)
7:00pm on... Nighttime celebration and Party.

Confirmed Bands: We are aiming for ~30 bands/performers. Confirmed: Face Death, The Channel, Krooked Grind, Piss Shit Fuck, Farewell Euclid, Control Group, Deadpan Dealings, and as of now 5 more unconfirmed bands.

Singing: By the Pittsburgh Raging Grannies

Food: Pittsburgh Food Not Bombs will be serving free food throughout the convergence.

Convergence Space: There will be a convergence space open from Friday through Sunday. This will serve as a gathering space for people to gather, attend trainings, and disseminate information. Oh ya, and to keep warm in the cold. Hot Chocolate for All!

Ride Info:
A Ride Board should be up soon for those coming from outside the Pittsburgh area.

Flyers: On the website: Please help us get the info out there!!!! These are all in PDF format. If you want hard copies let us know. We are happy to mail them to people for distro.

Parade for Peace (11x17)
King Kong (8.5x11) King Kong (1/4 sheet 8.5x11)
Convergence (8.5x11) Convergence (1/4 sheet 8.5x11)
Let your voice be heard (8.5x11) Let your voice be heard (1/4 sheet 8.5x11)

Outreach: This is the one area where we need regular help from everyone. It's not enough to plan a large anti-war event: people need to know about it. We are asking people to distribute flyers wherever they can. Few of us have the time to set aside hours just to outreach, but most of us can pass out information during the course of a regular day. Many of us have found the following places effective for outreach: on the way to school, in coffee shops, on buses, at shows, and basically anywhere else people are or you can leave a flyer or two for people to find. One of the best parts of outreach is that it forces us to reach out beyond our normal social circles and typically starts conversations with people who might not otherwise be exposed to our perspective.

Art and Theatre: One of our goals with these events is to fuse more creativity into the protest nature of rallies, marches, and events. To do this we need to get all of our creative juices flowing and reach out to everyone with more in-depth artistic experience. We would like to especially invite the involvement of those of you who regard art-theatre as your driving passion. There is a meeting to talk about war related (not specific to Jan events) street theatre on December 10th.

Logistical Help: We need people to help staff the convergence center, staff phones for legal support, move puppets-banners-supplies around, and a ton of other things that require people to commit to doing.

Contacts in your area: We have contacts in a number of cities who we can pass you along to for flyers or logistical info on the convergence or a particular aspect of it. If you would like to help spread info and/or organize in a particular area please contact us.

Pittsburgh- pog (at) mutualaid.org, pittsburgh_october (at) hotmail.com (412)682-4035 (pog), info (at) ThomasMertonCenter.org (412)361-3022 (TMC), Thomas Merton Center 5125 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15224, Anti-War Committee: Pete Shell, (412)422-7435, pshell (at) cs.cmu.edu, or Ali Hebshi at ahebshi (at) earthlink.net

We now have convergence contacts in the following cities. Email us and we will pass the message along: Erie, Indiana (PA), Latrobe, Ithaca, Chicago, Columbus, Lansing, Greensberg, Boston.

We are talking to people in the following cities. We're working on contact info: Morgantown- NYC- DC- Buffalo- Cleveland- Columbus- Richmond.

Calls To Action:
POG call to Action- We're still finalizing this. It has to be approved at the next meeting.

Please note we have not endorsed these. We are mainly concerned with providing an effective framework for the actions. We would like to stress that the pog consensus is that we don't feel anything in the these calls goes against the spirit or framework of the convergence.
Call for a Disobedient Bloc - Anarchist Call To Action- Pink Bloc Call
See also:
http://www.organizepittsburgh.org
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bloc info (english)
10 Dec 2002
to pass along some info
"the disobedience bloc is meeting at:

12:45pm at the corner of 5th Ave & N Bellefield Ave to join the AWC Mass anti-war march. The bloc will re-assemble prior to the start of the direct actions at 2:45pm (location to be announced). There are supposed to be a couple thousand people at the march so PLEASE gather at the meeting point which is right across the street from where the AWC march is assembling at."