By MEL PACKER

During the days of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, PA, our citizenry witnessed an astounding spectacle and display of military might in the city we love and call home. To the dismay of many, our pedestrian friendly, getting-to-be-attractive downtown was turned into a military base resembling that more likely to be seen in third-world nations run by murderous dictators.

Oakland, one of the more attractive neighborhoods for visitors, students, and residents, became a running battlefield dominated by armored police forces carrying offensive weapons that turned our streets into a cheap imitation of Baghdad.

This is speculation, but my hunch is that many of those “robo-cops” had a pent-up urge to use their fancy weaponry and, finding little excuse to do so on the largely peaceful marches of the 24th and 25th, found a simpler target on any living being who happened to be hanging around the University of Pittsburgh/Oakland area Thursday and especially Friday night, the 25th. It should be especially disturbing to all of us that this included accredited journalists prominently wearing press passes who, like others, were arrested and had cameras smashed so as to destroy evidence of wrong-doing by police.

We have to ask who bears responsibility for this gross over-reaction that put almost 200 people in jail, most in violation of their constitutional right to assemble, and who should bear the blame. It’s easy to blame the individual armored police in the streets, and they do, in fact, deserve blame.

But the larger blame and responsibility lies with our City Council and Mayor, the County Commissioner (now declaring for Governor), University of Pittsburgh administration, and the Obama administration, which insisted that the Secret Service had the right to run our city during G-20. It is not just constitutional rights that were violated. There were crimes committed, assaults made, citizens beaten, neighborhoods and university buildings gassed with complete abandon and recklessness.

People were seized unjustly, beaten, faces slammed into concrete walls and sidewalks while waiting for buses. Many of those arrested were held overnight on buses and females being detained had to listen to sexually derogatory comments from police along with the obvious sexual threat given in the comment “maybe we should take the hot ones off the bus”. Scary? You betcha. And this comes from those who are allegedly there to protect our democratic rights.

Sorry, it doesn’t compute. Democratic rights were trampled, constitutional rights were ignored, and there were far more criminal acts committed by police than by protestors.

But here all we have heard from Pittsburgh City Police Chief Nate Harper is that the police did a fine job. These sentiments have been repeatedly echoed by Mayor Ravenstahl, Allegheny County Commissioner Onorato, and Univ of Pittsburgh Chancellor Nordenberg.

One kept hoping that as the melee/police riot developed, someone in one of those administrations would have had the moral courage to shout “STOP!” or to at least take to the media the next day with a denouncement of the debacle. But no, ALL of our elected officials chose not only to sit on their hands but to issue public statements applauding the police for their “professional behavior”, just as most did during the battle for permits to stage the protests, assuming the position of blind mice. This is moral cowardice at best, criminal complicity at worst, and deserves punishment.

Outrages committed by the “peacekeepers” in uniform have now been denounced by many citizens, organizations, newspapers, columnists, and the union representing print journalists. But denouncement is not enough. Recently, in London, criminal charges were filed against a police officer due to acts committed against G20 protesters there. The same should be done here.

There is no doubt in most minds that there will be massive lawsuits filed both individually and by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights in an attempt to rescue our city and nation from this horrible display of naked aggression and military power against unarmed people. I am also certain that the Pittsburgh Citizens Police Review Board will, after investigation, issue a scathing report about police mis-conduct.

But much more must be done if we are to put the lid on this behavior and to rescue our city from losing its welcoming reputation and gaining one that says “go away”. First, NONE of the officials involved who displayed such moral cowardice deserve our support and should be, frankly, hounded out of office and replaced by citizens that have some respect for citizens’ rights. Second, the possibility of filing criminal charges and/or civil lawsuits for damages against all who allowed the commission of these crimes, from individual officers to those in elected and appointed office should be explored.

If it is a crime to break windows, it is no less a crime to break heads. And those responsible need to be brought to justice in criminal and/or civil courts.

Anything less means further subversion of democracy and a further slide into the erosion of democratic rights for all of us.

Mel Packer is a Physician Assistant in Emergency Medicine, decades long peace and justice activist, one of the organizers of the anti-G20 activities primarily with the Thomas Merton Center Anti-War Committee and the Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project. He lives in Pittsburgh.

http://www.counterpunch.org/packer10092009.html

Views: 38

"Destroying the New World Order"

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE SITE!

mobile page

12160.info/m

12160 Administrators

 

TOP CONTENT THIS WEEK

Latest Activity

Boris posted a video
2 minutes ago
rlionhearted_3 posted photos
2 minutes ago
Phyllis Maka posted blog posts
1 hour ago
cheeki kea replied to Mrs. Tif Morgan's discussion Newsweek: Taboo Against Eating Human Flesh is ‘Unreasonable’
"It was only in times of war wasn't it ? - for the side that won. Well lol, there's no war…"
1 hour ago
cheeki kea replied to Chris of the family Masters's discussion Criminal Charges Against OZ Pirates
"Good one. "
1 hour ago
Chris of the family Masters posted a discussion

Criminal Charges Against OZ Pirates

 Judicial being issued with criminal charges for treason against the nation and to appear in court…See More
7 hours ago
the mighty bull replied to Mrs. Tif Morgan's discussion Newsweek: Taboo Against Eating Human Flesh is ‘Unreasonable’
"in the old days this diet was normal practice but that was a long long time ago maybe 200 years ago…"
8 hours ago
the mighty bull favorited Mrs. Tif Morgan's discussion Newsweek: Taboo Against Eating Human Flesh is ‘Unreasonable’
8 hours ago
Burbia commented on Phyllis Maka's blog post NEW DRONE VIDEO FROM PEDO ISLAND - Jim Stone
9 hours ago
Burbia posted videos
9 hours ago
the mighty bull commented on Chris of the family Masters's blog post The Text
10 hours ago
Phyllis Maka commented on Phyllis Maka's blog post UNBELIEVABLE HOW THEY CLONED THIS DEAD THING BACK TO LIFE/ How These Lying Pricks CHEAT US OUT OF OUR LIVING EARTH like hell they will NOT !!
"Like I said obliterate Washington DC (military) from this earth the rest will fall over, that being…"
14 hours ago
Rufus commented on guest_blog's page BBC: ‘We were wrong to hide commentator’s pro-Israeli credentials during Gaza assault’
"The BBC being less than honest?  What is the world coming to when we can't even trust our…"
14 hours ago
Mrs. Tif Morgan's 2 discussions were featured
14 hours ago
Profile IconRufus and Nigel joined truth's group
14 hours ago
Phyllis Maka's blog post was featured

NEW DRONE VIDEO FROM PEDO ISLAND - Jim Stone

"Rusty Shackleford" is at it again, and just nailed new evidence that strongly supports the…See More
14 hours ago

© 2019   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2019 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted