PITTSBURGH (CN) – Days after a federal judge ruled that Pittsburgh must grant permits to groups that want to protest the G-20 economic that begins Thursday, city police “illegally searched and seized a bus, known as the Seeds of Peace bus, in retaliation for the group’s association with and intention to provide food and medical supplies to G-20 demonstrators,” two groups claim in Federal Court. But U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster refused to issue an injunction against the city.
Seeds of Peace and the Three Rivers Climate Convergence sued the Pittsburgh Police Department on Monday, alleging harassment and constitutional violations.
The nonprofit group said that while it was preparing meals for protesters on the legally parked bus, officers with semi-automatic weapons raided the bus and searched it. Four Seeds of Peace members were detained for two hours but “subsequently released without being charged or sited,” according to the complaint.
But Judge Lancaster ruled on Tuesday that Seeds of Peace members were not deprived of their constitutional rights and that their converted bus must obey zoning and parking regulations.
Some businesses are boarding up windows in expectation of problems at the two-day meeting, such as have occurred between police and protesters at other economic summits.
Whatever happens is sure to be thoroughly reported. The G-20 meeting is expected to draw 3,500 journalists from around the world, the China Daily reported today.