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Everybody in 'Burgh has gripe for G-20

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Friday, Aug. 28, 2009

Why should Code Pink's damsels have all the fun?

The female anti-war group and numerous other devotees of dissent plan to protest the Group of 20 economic summit Sept. 24 and 25 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

It's nearly impossible to find a hotel room in Pittsburgh that week, and every bail bondsman between here and New Castle reportedly is on call.

With the global spotlight poised to shine rarely and momentarily on the city, many out-of-towners who refuse to accentuate the positive have determined Pittsburgh will be a swell locale to air grievances.

But natives have some gripes of their own, and should consider venting their frustrations.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl proposed legislation that would bar folks from using animal waste or rotten eggs to convey their dissatisfaction, which admittedly diminishes much of the incentive to take to the streets.

Nevertheless, the following locals should apply for protest permits and begin demonstrating immediately, before the Code Pink types grab all the attention:

• Citizens Against Unspecified Upheaval

Composed of: Several hundred thousand area residents fed up with the lack of details provided on the Downtown security perimeter, associated street closings, traffic restrictions, parking garage shutdowns and public transportation detours reportedly arriving with President Obama and the scores of foreign dignitaries attending the G-20.

Protesting: This form of mental waterboarding that has left people completely incapable of adequately planning for the significant inconveniences they are certain to suffer during the summit.

Rallying cry: "Tell us before our tempers blow just what exactly you're gonna close!"

• Citizens For Consistent Classroom Time

Composed of: Any parent with a child in Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Protesting: The G-20's contribution to the ridiculous amount of educational downtime the cancellation-happy school district typically provides students.

Students will receive a two-hour early dismissal the day before the G-20 begins, and no classes will be held during the summit. That time off immediately precedes the district's first vacation day of the new school year.

Rallying cry: "Two, four, six, eight, you also have too many snow dates!"

• Citizens Who Want Their City Back

Composed of: People who don't necessarily believe the limited international exposure Pittsburgh will receive as G-20 host is worth the city being temporarily overtaken by thousands of summit attendees, protesters, reporters and police officers.

Protesting: A city about to be turned upside down just so the Japanese finance minister can return home and tell his wife, "Pittsburgh wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it was impossible to find good sushi within the fenced-off security zone."

Rallying cry: "The people, united: Our patience is depleted!"

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