KQV AM 1410

KQV Editorial

Planning for the G-20 Summit!

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     The closer we get to the G-20 Summit meetings coming to Pittsburgh this month, the more worrisome it becomes.  High-level representatives of the world’s largest economies will arrive in town for the September 24th-25th meetings to be held at the Convention Center.

     Unfortunately, they will be accompanied by large blocs of local and international demonstrators with the avowed purpose of protesting the meetings and causing trouble.

     Having the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh is quite an honor, as county and city officials, headed by Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, both early on, hungry for attention, were wont to tell us!  Apparently, they campaigned long and hard to get this function scheduled here.

     But, as you know if you have been keeping in touch with preparations for the G-20 summit, bringing the meetings to Pittsburgh is unquestionably a mixed blessing.  It should be noted, that a number of other cities, in their wisdom, declined to host the whole affair!

     According to dandy Dan and his buddy Luke, it’s an honor and it’s prestigious to host this heavenly event that is ‘til we find out the devil may be in the details!   The rumblings are already being felt.  Currently, they are at loggerheads on how to divvy up the state and federal grants meant to cover the summit’s expenses, currently estimated to be between $18 and $19 million.

     Some public officials predict that downtown business will be in a virtual lockdown...some businesses plan to close those days…all or most schools will be closed…and the whole transit system will be affected.  For some people September 24th and 25th will be a nightmare.

     Similar meetings in London and
Seattle have given us a blueprint of what to expect.  There were as many as 35,000 protesters from 160 groups with many axes to grind – the global economy, the environment, and racism, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and general discontent.

     As in similar situations, there are those who are going to demonstrate peacefully and those who will resort to violence. 
There will be overwhelming security problems with more than 3,000 police and security officials being assigned to the task, coming from other parts of the state and nation.

     Obviously, we hope the world leaders find the meetings to be peaceful, productive, and successful.  We just hope when September 26th rolls around and the meetings are all over, we can say it was worth it.

     While we have our fears and doubts, we hope for the best!



Robert W. Dickey


KQV Newsradio
September 4, 5, 6, 2009                                   


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