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Thomas Merton Center Recognizes Occupy Pittsburgh

The Thomas Merton Center has chosen a group with no centralized control to be honored with its annual New Person Award. Occupy Pittsburgh Thursday will be given the award Thursday evening at 7:00 PM in the social hall of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church.

Merton Center Managing Director Diane McMahon said the award goes to a local activist or group that has a significant impact in creating a more peaceful and just world.

McMahon said Occupy Pittsburgh withstood cold weather and public resistance as it camped out to take on the difficult issue of economic injustice. "It's a hard thing to take on corporate structures like the Bank of New York Mellon and UPMC and Highmark. It's not a personal issue, but it's a pointing out that a lot of the funds are going to just the 1%, and it's not equally distributed," McMahon said.

Groups receiving the award in the past include those protesting Marcellus Shale drilling and the G20 meeting here in Pittsburgh, according to McMahon.

The United Steelworkers and the Hayes Design Group are sponsors. Admission is available at the door or online. There will be light refreshments, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, and music provided by Mike Stout and the Human Union Band and the Raging Grannies.