IMO, this [hosting of the G-20] is a sham. Pittsburgh, like all marks, has been duped because in our dark place we want to be the showcase of the world, and we’ve been sold our own dream. If somebody dies (police, protester, bystander) what accomplishment will justify their death? (WWVB)
That would have sounded pitiably pessimistic only a few weeks ago, but as the closures, restrictions and above all else the great security Catch-22 has become more apparent, ideas like this are starting to crop up more frequently.
On the right:
And certainly on the left: listen to Al Hart, United Electrical workers union, in a post at the Slag Heap. During the press conference, Hart went on at greater length about how the world’s “rich” intend to take, take, take from Pittsburgh during this summit– and from Pittsburghers themselves, considering lost wages and productivity — and offer nothing in return.
I’ve also gotten wind that some City Council members — I actually do not know which ones, so it may not be the ones you would immediately imagine — are resentful of how Mayor Ravenstahl and County Executive Onorato kept the negotiations a big secret and then made a big surprise out of it, instead of hashing it out with their coequal partners in government. Now they own it exclusively, for good or for ill.
Remember back in May:
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he knows the G-20 poses some security problems likely to be felt by Pittsburghers.
“Of course, it will be an inconvenience in some ways,” he said. “But it’s an opportunity for the residents of this city to experience something they’ve never seen before.” (P-G, Roddey & Sherman)
Mr. Ravenstahl said the event will result in “traffic, chaos and experience,” but he and Mr. Huss said there should be no reason for residents to avoid the Downtown area during the summit. (P-G, Ed Blazina)
I still instinctively agree with those sentiments, mostly, and even find them admirable, as you can read in my comment under a prior WWVB post. “Chaos and experience” are things to be embraced in my view, and opportunities are there to be seized.
At the same time, having now read Vannevar’s newest post, I have to wonder if my — our — assumptions were justified.