G20 Protest: 11

In Pittsburgh on September 30, 2009 at 2:14 pm

G-20 104

One month ago, I sent an editorial to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, begging activists and police not to fight each other. “I have friends on both sides,” I wrote. “Ninety-nine percent of the people on the streets want a peaceful demonstration.”

The Post-Gazette didn’t respond to my submission. Not even a rejection letter. This is unusual for them, but the editors likely swamped these days. After 40-or-so rejected articles (this year alone), I didn’t give the editorial a second thought.

Just before I left the march, my friend L. throw a handful of paper-hearts in the air. They fell like rose-petals over the stone wall that stood between me and the marchers. I picked one up. It read: DO GOOD.

At that moment, I could sense danger coming. L. called me soonafter. Police were everywhere, she said. A godly voice had boomed from the sky, demanding that protesters vacate the premises. A small band of protesters pushed a dumpster into the police barricade, and soon the streets were choked with gas. A CNN reporter was blinded. Riot-police marched in formation.

Days later, I still wonder: What good was done here? What, in the end, even happened?


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