For this particular blog, I am going to write about the events that occurred on the night of Thursday, September 24th 2009. Though I found this week’s reading particularly interesting, there are some events that absolutely deserve to be talked about. And what better way to share than with my Global Societies class.
Thursday night, my friends and I carried on with our tradition of watching The Office, Community and It’s Always Sunny and Philadelphia in our room in Sutherland. Some of the friends in our group are girls who live in Holland, and some other friends live in Towers. With all of the “G-20 madness” going on, we did not want them to walk down alone. So, we decided to take them down to their dorms to make sure they were safe.
Once we got in there we decided to go look at the Cathedral, because of the obscene amount of riot cops hanging around. We were watching from the William Pitt Union lawn when they started to push us back, apparently assembling and watching from is unlawful, so we ended up on the Tower’s Patio on the Fifth Avenue side.
At this time, the police had pushed all of the people on Forbes Avenue into the Tower’s Lobby and it was completely packed in there. We stayed on the Tower’s Patio and continued to watch the riot police attack random people in the church, the street, and the sidewalk. The riot police began to assemble across Fifth Avenue and march towards the Tower’s Patio. Everyone dispersed and tried to get into the Towers, and we were pushed toward the exit of towers.
During this process, one of our friends was grabbed (he was near the back of the pack). He put his hands up in the air, to indicate he was not trying to resist, and they took him down. They began beating him over the head multiple times with their batons. He was eventually zip tied and taken away. During these events, I turned around to try to tell them he was not doing anything. I was pushed backward, by the riot police, into a metal railing twice and they almost hit me in the head with one of their batons (my glasses were hit and bent a little).
What I saw that night was some of the craziest things I have ever seen in my life. Literally, it was straight out of a movie. To be completely honest, I feel crushed. I understand that rights are violated, and I understand that things need to happen for security purposes. But when do my rights end? When is it not okay for us to be standing on the patio of our college, our home?