Pittsburgh  — This Thursday and Friday a group of Vermont Farmers and students joined Pittsburghers and others from around the world to protest the G 20 meeting. In addition to rowdy marches and “climate camps” Pittsburgh organizers called for localized direct actions around Pittsburgh at locations like Army recruiting stations, development organizations, and major chain retailers, recognizing that G20 policies manifest locally as well as globally.

The Vermont group chose to blockade the entrance of the East Liberty Whole Foods grocery store Friday morning 10:15. They installed a raised-bed garden on the pavement complete with plants. They hung banners that read ” Whole Communities Not Whole Foods for ½ the people.” and   ” A Whole Lot of $$$$ GREEN $$$$$,” as well as Grow Gardens Not Corporations.

One person joining them from Pittsburgh said “I’ve have watched Whole Foods come in and cater to wealthier folks from outside this neighborhood with its corporate green image while selling products that not only don’t contribute to a local or sustainable food system but are totally unaffordable to most folks that live here.”

Jean Marie Pearce left her farm in the Northeast Kingdom to participate in planting the garden. “We need to realize that Whole Foods is about growing profits not sustainability and the G 20 is about growing capitalism not a healthy world. I want world where food is grown for everyone, not the GDP for 20 countries! Examples like the dairy farm crisis right now, prove the need for more inclusion around these policies. We can’t protect or control our economy when it is run by 20 people and corporate friends.”

Their employees removed installation and no arrests were made.

The activists also participated in the Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project’s non-permitted march themed “Power from Below, Not Impositions from Above,” on Thursday, as well as Peoples March to the G-20 Friday afternoon.

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Jean Marie Pearce