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G20 Pittsburgh Shadyside Boarded Up by B Brown

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Taken by
B Brown B Brown
Explore score
100
Size
0.06 Gigapixels
Views
2196
Date added
Sep 26, 2009
Date taken
Sep 26, 2009
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Description

The Shadyside shopping district on Walnut Street in Pittsburgh is almost vacant during the Friday lunch hour of the the G20 conference. Several businesses that were publicly targeted for decentralized protest action that morning or large national chains typically subject to protest action are boarded up. Local businesses other than coffee shops had few customers except for some G20 offical visitors shopping. The private costs of the holding the G20 conference in Pittsburgh are pobably in excess of $100 million for lost business, lost productivity, and extra expense for security.


Gigapan Comments (4)

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  1. Kerry Parslow

    Kerry Parslow (September 30, 2009, 11:58AM )

    I have to disagree with "battle"s narrow view of the "protestors...terrorizing our city" and "getting what they deserve." The media focused on the tiny minority of what appeared to me to be mostly teen and twenty-somethings in their quasi-Ninja get-ups on a thrill-seeking vandalism spree under the guise of a not-quite-coherent "anarchist agenda." There were more than 5,000 peaceful, organized and permitted marchers with legitimate causes but as far as I could tell, less than 50 of the "anarchists" caused 100% of the damage. But they (and the media coverage of them) only caused a fraction of the actual "terror". Most of that was inflicted by the cordons of jack-booted cops playing at SWAT team. I'm not anti-police at all but that whole display of brutish force was unconscionable and wholly unnecessary. Unfortunately, I feared the Oakland confrontations were a foregone conclusion when I heard the local G-20 "host" organizers had the stupidity to locate the pre-conference dinner at Phipps. I knew they would establish a broad perimeter of tight security around the site which would infringe upon the campuses of two major universities (including my alma mater). Unlike the public spaces around privately owned homes, college students are accustomed to viewing an entire campus (rightly so, I might add) as their "home" and one in which they are free to congregate at will at all times. The behavior of the police towards innocently curious and normally assembled students that I witnessed on Thursday and Friday nights was disgusting and completely unjustifiable. Herding, bullying, shoving, threatening, beating, gassing and arresting bystanders who were merely hanging out in an area which they considered their rightful space and nowhere near the precious "dignitaries" was the real terrorism and I was sickened by it. I'm with the P-G's Tony Norman on this. If I wasn't so averse to conspiracy theories, I'd wonder if the supposed "anarchists" weren't government plants sent in to justify the assinine street-clearing martial law.

  2. Paul Heckbert

    Paul Heckbert (September 30, 2009, 10:07AM )

    B Brown wrote "The private costs of the holding the G20 conference in Pittsburgh are pobably in excess of $100 million for lost business, lost productivity, and extra expense for security." In the Post-Gazette today, Tony Norman described the police as "a guest with an iron fist": post-gazette.com/pg/09272/1001566- 153.stm Will open in a new tab or windowexcerpt: "Security for the G-20 in Pittsburgh is put conservatively at $20 million. There was an estimated $50,000 in damage to windows and storefronts caused by anarchists in a few neighborhoods on the East End. But more than a few windows were broken last week. Something ghastly happened to us. We proved we were willing to give up something very precious to us for a few days in the international spotlight. We invited authoritarianism into our homes and promised not to whimper while it danced on our necks. This is truly pathetic."

  3. B Brown

    B Brown (September 27, 2009, 10:40AM )

    Paul thanks for you comments. Unfortunately the several peaceful protests got lost in the violence. If those people had restrained the ones intent on violence then their message might have gotten out. I'd disagree with you characterization of the police though. They were quite restrained in my opinion. My neighborhood did suffer damage, and I can't imagine what the residents of 39th through 34th streets between Liberty and Penn thought about crowds rampaging through their neighborhood in masks. Those protesters are lucky this is 2009 and not pre 1970 when steel mill workers lived in those area. The residents most certainly would have attacked the hoodlums in the crowd that were causing trouble. I for one am grateful for the all the public safety officials who traveled here to protect us. Its unfortunate that a few rioting anarchists and misguided students who have never worked for a living caused trouble. They don't seem to understand that their Freedom on Speech and Assembly is only guaranteed by our constitution if is Peaceful which neither this march nor any of the evening marches were. In my opinion the protesters got less than they deserved for terrorizing our city. If you want to see what these people really believe take a look at www.resistg20.org Will open in
a new tab or window and www.crimethinc.com Will open in
a new tab or window. These folks are not peaceful protesters and never intended to be. The threats of violence posted on the Resist G20 site are barely veiled. As far as I am concerned that makes the owner of that site an accessory to riot and felonious activity that took place during and after the G20.

  4. Paul Heckbert

    Paul Heckbert (September 27, 2009, 09:39AM )

    I'd guess that the loss of business during the G-20 was more due to excessive security, politicians and local talk radio hosts whipping up fear of mayhem, and the resulting cascading closures of roads, businesses, and schools, than anything else. The largest protest action - the Thomas Merton march, numbering about 4500 people, on Friday - was peaceful. Yes, there were smaller groups on Thursday in Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, and Oakland that stupidly smashed windows and conducted other vandalism, and that sadly hurt some businesses with no clear connection to corporate greed (Irish Design Center?). The biggest confrontations between protesters and police, on Thursday and Friday evenings, seemed to be provoked by cops (many of them from out of town) itching to use their toys (OC gas, rubber bullets, LRAD noisemaker) and assert their authority more than by violence on the part of the Pitt students and other onlookers. Even these pictures are emphasizing the violent and negative aspects of the G-20 protesters. There were many positive and constructive messages -- help Darfur, save Tibet, slow global warming, shop locally, end slave labor ... -- but these don't make for dramatic photos or video, and sadly the news media would rather show video of tear gas than interview an intelligent protester, even when the latter is more common than the former.

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