General News

Day One G-20: Point of View is Everything

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 9/25/09

Become a Fan
  (36 fans)

For lack of a better lede, since this writer's mind is exhausted, a picture is worth a thousand words. As someone who spent the better part of the day schlepping around downtown Pittsburgh, you just have to take issue with the point of view expressed in the photos by Bill Perry. Pull back on the lens, change your point of view, and a different "picture" emerges from Day One.


What do you see?


Yes, peaceful protest deserves access to those in power, but that is not the issue here.


Scarier "up close" ?


Over two thousand journalists from all over the world are in Pittsburgh, and they were about the only people in evidence on Day One, other than state and local police and National Guard in the city on Wednesday night and Thursday. The city was totally buttoned down, all entrances to the convention center sealed off, and protest groups assigned to two gathering points "behind" the sealed perimeter. Pedestrian walkways were in place in the downtown area, but no one was using them as most citizens decided to stay home and many businesses and even churches were either boarded up or closed for three days. A local resident expressed dismay that I was not "seeing the real Pittsburgh," explaining that it is the epicenter of a 2 million person workforce that was not in evidence.


Don't bite the hand that feeds you




Buttoned down


There were so many journalists, that I decided to become a "lost tourist" at the checkpoints. I could have been a terrorist with my stuffed backpack. I even tested a few checkpoints by driving my car "accidentally" into restricted space to see what would happen. The point is that nothing happened. All security was cordial, but firm. I was not harassed, threatened or in any way intimidated. Cops, one Chicago cop in particular, pulled out maps and wrote down directions for me. My point is that I acted in a civil manner and was treated accordingly.

There was an eerie quality to the city that day. It reminded me of a day in my childhood when Martin Luther King marched on the Chicago neighborhood of Jefferson Park where my family lived. We were hardly racists, but my Dad was worried about possible violence, so he took us all to Wisconsin for an outing. Most of the neighborhood left town in similar fashion. It was like waiting for a hurricane that never materialized. When we got home, the only thing out of the ordinary were a few candy wrappers scattered on the lawn.


Liberty Street..I thought about that


The Pittsburgh City Paper (the local arts, entertainment and political rag) seemed to have a good grip on the lead-in and expectations from police and demonstrators.

Greetings global overlords. Welcome to Pittsburgh. How soon will you be leaving? Part of the problem is the protesters you're bringing with you. Another part, though, is that in some ways, it's hard to tell who the "real" dangerous anarchists are. Either way, though, it's the rest of us who will be stick with the mess.


I have no idea what Pittsburgh will look like in a few days, and I am not on the ground there now, but I can tell you my view and impressions of DAY ONE are different than those of Mr. Perry, but then he is an anti-war activist and I am just a reporter.

I can tell you that I saw a group of monks protesting on behalf of Burma just off of Liberty Street and a silent group from Ethiopia. While I was taking photos there a video camera crew from Italy showed up, and suddenly a noisy protest emerged from about twenty "bystanders." People were clearly positioned for the cameras. It was momentarily noisy until the cameras were gone, but non-threatening, and the police just watched.


Peaceful monks are ignored


There were movements of police in full riot gear in and around the entrances used by the dignitaries and it was intimidating to observe, but nothing like what I have observed in the third world.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Dian Fossey and the Gorilla Killings

Should the World Boycott the Beijing Olympics? The Horrific Story of the Falun Gong

Haiti Watch: Disease Threatens Infants and No Plans to Stop It

"Sticks in Vaginas:" This Is What a Massacre Looks Like

Fox-Owned National Geographic Uses Gorillas as Cover for Exploitation of Congo

Baghdad on the Bayou Redux: Tab Benoit Interview

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

My wife, had to fly to Pittsburgh to visit a cousi... by E. Nelson on Friday, Sep 25, 2009 at 6:54:31 PM