October 14, 2009

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 4

G-20 sparks protests

G-20 sparks protests

G-20 sparks protests

The G-20 is a group of nineteen of the most economically developed nations and the European Union that periodically meets to discuss issues and find remedies for world problems. However its previous policies have incited protests during the summit this year in Pittsburgh.

Occasionally criticized for being all-talk-and-no-action, the G-20 met two weeks ago in Pittsburgh, Pa. and developed a few key plans, especially regarding the economy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, included in the group's communiqué was the plan for "A Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth," which makes each nation responsible for creating and maintaining policies for economic growth, in a time in which many countries, such as the U.S., are hurting economically.

Energy issues were addressed but no specific plan was formulated for how to deal with them. Less developed countries were given a boosted share in the ownership of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which oversees world financial matters such as exchange rates. Washington believes that this move to increase poorer nations' share in the IMF will even out tensions that suggest that the IMF is simply only concerned with the mandates and welfare of the U.S.

The summit sparked protests on the Pittsburgh streets against capitalism in general and the policies of the G-20. Some dressed in all black, with masks or goggles, the protestors chanted and displayed their displeasure, reported the Associated Press. When police declared the protest an unlawful assembly when it was found that the protestors did not possess a permit, they asked the demonstrators to dissemble. In response, the protestors attempted to block roads, barrel trash cans toward police, and even throw rocks at cars and businesses. To combat the violence police dispensed pepper spray and smoke, and arrested approximately twenty protestors. Possible reasons for the protest include previous G-20 decisions and exasperation with the state of the U.S. economy.

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