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Street Report from the G20
Monday, 28 September 2009
By Bill Quigley, truthout | Perspective
The G20 in Pittsburgh showed us how pitifully fearful our leaders have become.
What no terrorist could do to us, our own leaders did.
Out of fear of the possibility of a terrorist attack, authorities militarize our towns, scare our people away, stop daily life and quash our constitutional rights.
For days, downtown Pittsburgh, home to the G20, was a turned into a militarized, people-free ghost town. Sirens screamed day and night.
Helicopters crisscrossed the skies. Gunboats sat in the rivers. The skies were defended by Air Force jets. Streets were barricaded by huge cement blocks and fencing. Bridges were closed with National Guard across the entrances. Public transportation was stopped downtown. Amtrak train service was suspended for days.
In many areas, there were armed police every 100 feet. Businesses closed. Schools closed. Tens of thousands were unable to work.
Four thousand police were on duty, plus 2,500 National Guard, plus Coast Guard and Air Force and dozens of other security agencies. A thousand volunteers from other police forces were sworn in to help out.
Police were dressed in battle gear, bulky, black ninja-turtle outfits - helmets with clear visors, strapped on body armor, shin guards, big boots, batons and long guns.
Bloggers Disclaimer: I grew up in Pittsburgh and got my BS at Carnegie Tech in Oakland, where the stormtroopers gassed and arrested indiscriminately, and I'm damned pissed!