Monday, July 27, 2009

Pittsburgh G-20 and the Unexploded Medical Device Industry

OK, so after not being able to get back to work this afternoon because of a blood pressure cuff, I got to worrying about the upcoming G-20 thingamagigger and counter-thingamagigger.

Now, having been a veteran of more than one protest in the past, I know that the vast majority of these things are populated by peaceful (if upset) people. Granted, a lot of them can be loud, smelly, and reeking vaguely of patchouli, but they're generally non-violent puppet loving folk.

Then there's the minority. Call them anarchists. Call them thugs. Call them whatever, there's a small number of people that take joy out of causing chaos and disorder, like that little old woman that calls bingo even when she knows she doesn't have bingo just to piss off everyone else in the hall. These are the folks you see getting blasted with water cannons, I would assume. Unless, of course, you get a police battalion that doesn't like puppets.

Fortunately for us, Downtown Pittsburgh is relatively isolated, so crowd control will probably be as easy (ha!) as shutting down the bridges and isolating Penn, Liberty, Centre, and Second Avenues. Those kinds of logistics seem to be under control.

But, that being said, with all the construction going on Downtown (including the nearby African-American cultural center and the secret tunnel from the North Shore to Gateway Center), there are a lot of opportunities for hooligans to find bricks, pipes, and other construction machinery to cause problems. We need to be locking up or otherwise securing anything that could possibly be an instrument of violence.

And, of course, this doesn't begin to address the thousands that are going to be descending upon the City for those two days, where they will sleep, where they will eat, where they will drink, and what they may set first to when they've had enough to drink.

Perhaps I'm overreacting, but our response to a false alarm at the City-County building is a test of how we're going to respond to any trouble at the G-20 and I don't know if we're ready yet.

Is there anyway we can set up a remote Downtown for those two days in, say, East Liberty?


n'at said...

In culturally sensitive and local government areas, replace the perimeter bollards with scaled replica statues of Caliguiri. In all other areas, commandeer storefronts and open hash bars.

If the crowds get uppity, blare Ben Harper from loudspeakers...

Anonymous said...

Ha! Good post, and you do bring up some very good points even in satire. There was an attack in Israel involving heavy machinery that ended in the death of an innocent. Something to think about and address for sure.