A new group in darkest Greensburg will bring the first anti-war protest of the 21st century to Westmoreland County's courthouse steps on Sat., Jan. 28.
"There's really me and Ryan" officially in the two-month-old group so far, says Lindsey Praksti, 21, of Delmont. She and Ryan Williams, 22, of Murrysville, formed Suburban Awakening after attending local anti-war protests led by the Pittsburgh Organizing Group since October.
"There's not a whole lot out here," Praksti allows. But they plan to make some noise where suburban politics usually flourishes. Opposing military recruitment, the focus of POG's most recent campaign, won't work in Greensburg: Recruiting offices are on private property in the Westmoreland Mall, from which protesters could be barred.
But Williams is confident their effort will draw others to join in. POG organizer Alex Bradley agrees: "Here is a group of people who grew up in an environment incredibly hostile to any type of radical politics or social movements," he says, "who heard about POG from seeing a flier posted on a pole Downtown and got in touch." Their fledgling effort, Bradley concludes, is "the type of resurgence of social movements in rural areas that will ultimately be needed if progressive values are going to triumph outside the big cities."
Westmoreland County Courthouse, Main and Otterman, Greensburg, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Sat., Jan. 28.