Outside the Duquesne Club today, members of One Pittsburgh protested proposed state budget cuts to education and health services by laying out a human "red carpet" outside the club, where Gov. Tom Corbett was said to be attending a business luncheon.
The protesters' chants varied from "Hey Gov, where's the love? Give some dime to the 99," and "Hey you, millionaires, pay your fair share." Business-suit clad members of the private club walked around them or into the streets. Shortly before noon, when the luncheon was reportedly to start, six protestors rolled out a red carpet and laid underneath it on the sidewalk.
"All of the time, red carpets are laid out for so-called dignitaries," said Bob Glidden, of Point Breeze, who was under the carpet. "This is symbolic of how they are walking all over people to accumulate wealth."
Corbett did not make an appearance. But as protesters lay down, a security guard from the club asked that they move from the sidewalk. After One Pittsburgh members countered that it was a public space, the security guard said, "Fine, have it your way." A few minutes later, city police arrived on bicycle and motorcycle, and eventually four cars arrived.
"You can protest but we just need you to stand up," said Sgt. Robert Miller. "You can't block the sidewalk and force people out on the streets. We're trying to make this as peaceful as possible."
The protestors complied and rolled up the carpet, and remained in front of the club for a short while after chanting, before marching away yelling "We'll be back!"
I love Mel Packer!