Friday, September 25, 2009

Pitt To Students: More Mayhem Expected

With the "wheels up" signal from Air Force One, I was preparing to still the citywide suspense by revealing the closing number to the Pittsburgh G20 soundtrack (center column). Then I received two messages indicating that Pitt, using its campus-wide safety alert system, has warned the university community that trouble is expected in Oakland tonight. (Query: Will that alert send more students inside or onto the streets?)

This one will be hard to predict. The civilians will be riled from the beginning (rather than starting out merely curious before turning angry). They will have a better understanding of police tactics and demeanor (and vice versa). Everyone will know from the start that property destruction is in the cards. Students may be supplemented by anarchists perceiving a last chance to pandemoniate; the police presence should be more substantial. Not sure which side would take a tactical advantage into round two, unless the civilians splinter into Shadyside (which city officials seem to value more than Lawrenceville, Bloomfield or even Oakland) and Squirrel Hill.

Time to pop some corn.

UPDATE: Another Pitt alert, describing "deteriorating" situation. If the message I received from a student is any measure, the alerts do not appear to be having the intended effect.

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