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Pittsburgh's Flair for Protest: An Oral History Interview with International Activist and University of Pittsburgh Sociology Ph.D. Student Sharon Quinsaat.

Carter Olson, Candi and Quinsaat, Sharon Pittsburgh's Flair for Protest: An Oral History Interview with International Activist and University of Pittsburgh Sociology Ph.D. Student Sharon Quinsaat. [Audio]

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On September 25, 2009, the G20 leaders convened in Pittsburgh for a one-day summit that included an additional day of ceremonial activities based around the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University campuses. This gathering allowed the students of both campuses to see many of the G20 leaders speak, and it also allowed the students to both view and participate in grassroots social activism throughout the city. While there were riots on the University of Pittsburgh campus that directly affected the undergraduate student body, this archive focuses specifically on the experiences of four women graduate students who participated in both the permitted and the unpermitted marches throughout the rest of the city in dual roles as scholars and activists. The diversity of their experiences reveals how difficult it is for academics to integrate community involvement with their own academic research and still maintain credibility in both realms. Also, because each of the women has been involved in other organized social protests in the past, their reflections on how the Pittsburgh protests compare to other global protests against organizations like the G20 adds perspective to the ways that the police and the protestors interacted in a small, local city as opposed to a large, metropolitan center, like Seattle or London. Sharon Quinsaat, a first-year Ph.D. student in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Sociology, participated in the g20 protests as part of her own interest in activism and protest. Quinsaat has extensive experience as a protest-organizer and leader for international interventions against the World Trade Organization and helped to organize student protests in her home country, the Phillipines. In her reflections, Quinsaat analyzes how the Pittsburgh protests differed from other rallies against international organizations in which she has participated, discusses police strategy and interactions with the protestors, and gives anecdotes about her own participation in the events and attention she garnered from the press because she is an international student. This interview was conducted by Candi Carter Olson, University of Pittsburgh Department of Communication Ph.D. student. Index to the oral history interview: Beginning: Introduction to Quinsaat; also on her background as an international activist and organizer against the WTO. 8:50: On how she became involved in the G-20 13:20: On media coverage of the anarchists’ picnic on Tuesday, Sept 22, 2009 and how she was profiled as an “international” activist even though she was attending as a student of the University of Pittsburgh. 18:20: On the difference between the G-20 protests and the international protests she has attended. 25:40: On bringing together local organizations for the permitted march on Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. 30:20: On the unpermitted “anarchists” rally on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009 37:10: On police strategy 43:15: On how the unpermitted rally compared with other rallies she had participated in 49:30: On why she participates in direct social activism 56:00: On how the state learns and becomes stronger 1:01:30: On performativity in the G-20 protests 1:06:20: On public perception of the efficacy of the G-20 protests and whether or not the comparisons with international protests are fair.


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Item Type: Audio
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Carter Olson, Candi
Quinsaat, Sharonsmq5@pitt.eduSMQ5
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
Uncontrolled Keywords: G20, Pittsburgh, University, of, Pittsburgh, anarchists, socialists, citizen-scholar, public, protest, riots, global, justice, economic, injustice, economic, activism, social, activism, police, state, riot, control, riot, police, community, outreach, community, scholarship, global, politics, public, scholarship, intellectual, entrepreneurship, public, intellectual, oral, history, interview, public, sociologies.
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Additional Information: All of the narrators in this series of G20 interviews have given me, Candi Carter Olson, full copyright.
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2009 20:02
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 05:11


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