community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
<i>for Pittsburgh Indymedia</i>: On Saturday September 20th protestors from Save Our Transit, POG, and other local groups demonstrated outside of a black-tie, $500 party celebrating the grand opening of the $370 million David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The themes of the night's demo were "Let them Eat Cake!" and "The Visionaries Must be Blind!"
At 10th Street and Penn Avenue diverse protestors from around Pittsburgh gathered to confront the "luminaries" and "visionaries" of Pennsylvania. In attendance were Governor Ed Rendell, Mayor Tom Murphy, other law and policy makers, presidents of local Universities, and of course their patrons, corporate leaders and local wealthy elites. The event was aptly named a "Power Play." (see http://www.pittsburghpowersup.com for more)
Local direct action group POG said, "these are some of the people most responsible for running the city into the ground, for taking away our civil liberties, and promoting the pro-corporate/neo-liberal agenda attacking what we hold dear."
As quoted in the post-gazette (many corporate media outfits were on hand for the party and caught a glimpse of the protest), Stephen Donahue of Save Our Transit said the party was a "disgrace" and a "slap in the face of ordinary citizens" who are being affected by cuts in public transit, public safety, public health, public works and senior citizen programs, among others.
Matt Toups, Pittsburgh IMC
the clown's rear sign read: "stop clowning around, pass a budget everyone can live with"
Steve Donahue of Save Our Transit came prepared for the "Let them Eat Cake" party.
an actual visionary, in the flesh.
The crowd let the "visionaries" know that we had our eyes on them. They seemed to be uncomfortable being under scrutiny.
One of the more bizarre events that evening: "visionaries" being carried by human-powered rickshaws (sponsored by IC Light). The reference to 19th Century Imperialism was probably unintentional.
A sign highlights the dissonance between the $370 Million spent on the Convention center and the claims of poverty when the state is asked to support public services like transportation and health.
by david Monday, Sep. 22, 2003 at 4:38 PM
great work, matt
Great Event Idea
by Elaine Monday, Sep. 22, 2003 at 5:49 PM
I just wanted to say that I think the idea for the "Let Them Eat Cake" event and the signs was wonderful! A great way to get the point across and make people think a little.
These photos are wonderful - wonderful composition, choice and detail - they show the theme so much better than the poor photo which the PG chose to go with its story about the same. Thanks for your great effort!
"visionary in the flesh"
by Urban Guerrilla Monday, Oct. 20, 2003 at 12:10 PM
That older balding man in the tux is Richard Armstrong. He's the director of the Carnegie Museum of Art. Armstrong is partly responsible for the absence of employee raises last year and the closing of the film department. But, he takes luxurious trips to Europe to "buy art" on the Carnegie's dime, drives a leased Saab also on the Carnegie's dime, and enjoys free parking while his peons pay $43/month to park in the same lot. Not a true visionary in the flesh, but a true scumbag in the flesh.
Thanks for the background info on Armstrong, UG. The CMA film program's destruction another good example of the "vision" decried outside the convention center that night -- when the budget-cutters got together to wine and dine with other people's money.
I hope it is clear to readers that the original caption "an actual visionary, in the flesh" was intentionally ironic.