Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today's G20=Apocalypse Sign, With Signs

Somehow, the world is ignoring the sappy, eyesore-covering banner at the Hilton, the silly signs masking highlighting empty storefronts along downtown Pittsburgh streets, and the rest of the official G20 storyline. Instead, this is the lead photograph on the front page of the New York Times website as I type this:

Well played, Greenpeace. Indeed, beautifully played. Unlike the official signs, this one reflects some thought and doesn't look dopey.

Meanwhile, this shot accompanies the Times' current G20-in-Pittsburgh article:

This can't be what VisitPittsburgh had in mind.

The Greenspeacers were arrested, and Mayor Ravenstahl announced a 'zero tolerance' standard for those who break the law in Pittsburgh. Does this mean Pittsburgh police, after looking the other way for years decades a century, are going to get around to citing the Duquesne Club for using Sixth Avenue as a for-profit parking lot? Or that the dozens of limousines with out-of-state tags parked along downtown streets this afternoon are going to be ticketed for unlawfully tinted windows?

I saw a Port Authority police car execute a U-turn on Liberty Avenue this afternoon so the officer could harass two youths who were huddled under an awning, attempting to avoid a pelting rain. Two blocks away, I saw a few unattended luxury cars parked underneath "no parking" signs in front of the Duquesne Club.

Standing on a sidewalk in a t-shirt and jeans = police attention. Parking a Mercedes under a "No Parking" sign while enjoying lunch at a private club = no problem. Parking a school bus-turned-kitchen anywhere in the city = police attention. Parking a limousine with unlawful tint next to a fire hydrant on Liberty Avenue = no problem.

So long as government officials discriminate so grotesquely based on viewpoint, dress and net worth -- and violate the Constitution -- I hope Pittsburgh sustains an unrelenting series of black eyes during the G20 event. No deaths, no injuries, but no chance for the Allegheny Conference/Onorato for Governor/Take Ravenstahl Seriously story lines to find oxygen.

Viva la resistance!

No comments: