Saturday, September 26, 2009

Action in Pittsburgh: G20 Police

I've been following the action and protests in Pittsburgh off and on for the last day or so, and I thought that with so much coverage, I would include a little bit of it here. Here are a few videos of some of the extremes the police are going to during their "riot protection." I understand that there is a fear of escalation which the police are trying to curtail, and I also know that as much as they are following orders, mobs have their own group mentality. Still, the incidents with the bike girl and the riot police in the stairwell/bridge were a bit over the top. I don't know, but watch and decide for yourself.

And there's one last video over on the BBC's website is just another good example of the action taking place. I think the hugging man was well meant, but not the right place and time to do something like that. He should have expected the cops to take it as an attack (which they did).

*Edit: It has also been noted from another university student that those riot police had been on campus all day expecting to see some action, so I can imagine that with a rising stress levels and warm temperatures, there are going to be some who go over the top. While this is no excuse, it is important during these times to see that we are all human.

People make mistakes, and if we are going to improve anything, there cannot be the "us vs. them" mentality which was created by both protesters and police officers. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed the video with WeAreChange the most. The guy tried to relate to the police, and while the protesters were still run off, I'd like to think that his appeals were the reason for a comparably non-violent end with the LRAD rather than with tear gas and violence.