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September 26, 2009

Outside the Pittsburgh G20: Bats in Hand

Pitt G20 3.jpg

Pitt Police g20 1.jpg
If the juxtaposition in the first photo is fanciful, even beautiful, showing “National Guardsmen carry(ing) riot gear past a mural of Pittsburgh’s baseball heroes near the site of the G-20 Summit,” it also proves cynical, as paramilitary and military forces in PirateLand equally, but more viciously, assumed the guise of uniformed batsmen.
If the action in the street was ugly on Thursday, I’m hearing that last night was something of a donnybrook, after the delegates and much of the news media had already gone home.
(John Moore/Getty Images. image 2: Carlos Barria/Reuters. G20 Pittsburgh Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
  • Books Alive

    I receive alerts from the Center for Constitutional Rights, and just had a chance to read this piece by Bill Quigley, who with the Pennsylvania ACLU was successful in a lawsuit that “resulted in the government giving more permits to protest and the court allowing a tent city protest.”
    Quigley explains the greater military-like behavior (and equipment) as part of a three-prong response following 9/11. I would add that the wars in Irag and Afghanistan contribute in certain ways, as well. His seoond point is seen in the second photo:

    Second, government has poured billions into law enforcement with the result that their response to protests are in many cases no longer civil law enforcement but now quasi-military, a chance to both show off their new toys, and an opportunity for security forces to practice their mass response actions.

  • jtfromBc

    As American as…
    With the flooding of the National Guard and Riot Police onto the streets of America since the 1960’s, these pics suggested to me the apple pie maxim.
    ‘…it was only in the twentieth century, apparently in the 1960s, that we began to be ‘as American as apple pie
    A foreign All Black Team faces off against this local stick carrying All Black Riot Team…what a riot what a dream !

  • yg

    people become more brutal when they are afforded anonymity. cops shouldn’t be able to hide behind face guards. uniforms should be clearly marked with large, easy to read numbers that could later be tied to a name if events grow out of control and actors need to be identified in order to be punished.
    what’s the story about military (or people wearing fatigues) in unmarked civilian car picking up civilians off the street? what’s happened to that protester who was picked up?

  • yg

    the dictator from iran makes a point: who are we to criticize his abuse of citizens when this country beats down peaceful demonstrators?

  • lytom

    The empire has advanced to the next level where the repression is aimed at demonstrators with justification of Patriot Act, Guantanamo terrorists, and numerous plots presented over time, to justify police repression. The police are now justified to employ tactics which the empire criticizes in other countries. Just to see the Pittsburgh elite in action is enough to put fear in citizens, simply put, we are all suspects and will be treated as such.

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