G20..."Protests"?? How to Tell the Difference

If you are watching any of the local news channels to get information on the G20 "protests", you may want to take the stories with a grain of salt, lest you think large numbers of anarchists have descended upon the 'Burgh. Most of the "action" last night was caused by Pitt students, who basically congregated to try and see the President. It's likely that many of them were drunk, and most probably couldn't even tell you what the G20 is for.

The Pitt News has an interesting write-up about the events in Oakland. Really, the only difference I see between what happened after the Super Bowl and last night is that there were hundreds of additional cops stationed in Oakland, and precautions were taken in advance - like all the picnic tables and trash cans were removed by Pitt earlier this week. When I went to work yesterday, it seemed that the vast majority of Pitt students had taken off for the weekend...so I guess it could have been a lot worse if the normal population was there. Nonetheless, I think Nordenberg's light-handed response to students who caused over $100,000 worth of damage in February of this year - only a few students were disciplined - gives Pitt students very little incentive to actually abide by the Student Code of Conduct.

The big march, which is permitted, is scheduled for today. That will be Pittsburgh's chance to see some legitimate dissent. I'm curious to see how the police will act towards these groups.

The supposed "anarchists" - who bore an odd resemblance to young boys playing dress up as ninjas (and were about as articulate when they were interviewed) - were limited in number...although you wouldn't know it from the news coverage.

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