Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Police brutality at the Pittsburgh G20

Sullivan wants to know why Pittsburgh "looked more like Tehran in June than America in September."   Radley Balko of Reason posted a fairly comprehensive overview of the way police handled civilians during the G20 in Pittsburgh.  Balko notes, "the disquieting ease with which authorities are willing to crush dissent—and at the very sorts of events where the right to dissent is the entire purpose of protecting free speech. That is, events where influential policymakers meet to make high-level decisions with far-reaching consequences."   Of particular concern to Balko is the observation that police were apparently dressed in military fatigues (I'm not sure how we can be certain they were't military, since thousands of Iraq-hardened reservists had been deployed for the summit).  Video:

Balko's piece overlooks some points that had struck me as significant   I was concerned about the precedent set in Pittsburgh of the police using sonic weapons against the public.  I was also startled -- saddened really -- by Obama's reaction to the G20 protests.  

Commendably, grad student Emily Tanner live-blogged the Pittsburgh protests and their aftermath.  

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