The powers that be in Pittsburgh tell us this is great PR for the city; we will finally get known for something other than being a smoky city. I don't think they meant the steel city would be known for our fencing and steel barricades, but that's how it looks to me. Tuesday, walking to class, one of my classmates offered me a ride just as it looked like the rains were coming. She drove through Schenley Park near Phipps Conservatory and already the park was being fenced in–or we were being kept out. Yesterday I went to a noon colloquium at Frick fine arts, the Pitt building closest to the Phipps. It was surrounded by fencing with only one way to get in (or out). I felt like I was in some kind of prison. Pitt is closed today and all of my classes at CMU have been canceled. Sculpture in front of the Carnegie Museum looks like it has been crated. All of this because there will be a welcome dinner tonight at the Phipps. How welcome is that!
They say it's because of all of the protests and the damage done in other cities. Here are some links about the protests: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/23/g20-usa
If I was coming here from a foreign country I would certainly wonder about all of these impediments to free movement in our supposedly free country. And why don't these government ministers from all over the world wonder what they have done to make so many people so angry.
Many of the protesters have good causes: healthcare, global warming, Darfur,
etc. But it’s obvious some just want to see themselves on TV or maybe have
the distinction of having been arrested. I think we were lucky; the damage
here wasn’t worse. Mostly broken windows in some corporate type places like
PNC bank and fast food places. But some of the damage was very small
business like the Irish design shop on Craig St. That was sad, and stupid.
All of the hoopla was for a meeting lasting less than 24 hours. After
everyone left there were still some kids protesting the police, which might
have been nothing at all if the police hadn’t responded.
I sympathize with the protesters, but I can’t figure out what good it does.
On Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 3:26 PM, wrote:
I was watching thing there on TV this week. All I could do was shake my head.
You brought up some interesting points. I know what I thought about seeing all the armed guards in the Plaza de Armas in Lima. I was wondering all day yesterday if all the hoopla was affecting your moving about Pittsburgh, and now I see. Are the people there really protesting big business?
On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 8:44 PM, wrote:
It’s been interesting looking at some of the photos of the city/protesters now that the summit is underway. Looks like a lot of overkill on the part of the police, frankly.
Couldn’t agree with you more.
I’m so sorry about this reaction. As the violence of the protests escalate, the over compensation of our reactions escalate. I’m obviously very old fashioned believing in peaceful protests. Thanks so much for posting this.
How is the book going?
Are you going to get photographs of you in your new wardrobe? 🙂