Friday, September 25, 2009

Different, but necessary.

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?


  1. Nick I was there tonight. I JUST got back into my dorm. They would not let us back in, the police were blocking off the quad. When I tried to get back in, I had multiple guns pointed in my face, men were screaming at me to get back, and they tear gased me. Personally, I am not a rioter. I have nothing to riot about. The violent rioters who smashed in the glass of multiple building tonight are to blame. When has violence solved our problems? And why riot if the G20 world leaders haven't decided on anything yet? Honestly, what are people rioting other than to hear themselves talk? I find this absolutely disturbing and a complete embarrassment to our city!!

  2. We riot because the cops forced us into it. They violated every one of our rights yesterday. They are responcible for starting the violence. I've seen more police brutality in the past 24 hours than I ever thought I would.

    This cops threatened you because to them you're just a face. Anyone not in a uniform is the enemy. That's what happens when you give a man with a high school education a badge and a gun.

  3. It's incredible really. The idea that they [riot police] do perpetuate the violence. I had no intention to "riot" or "protest" but I was getting legitimately angry. Every person I saw the police jump for no reason, and get taken down for walking down the street, angered me. Telling us to leave our STUDENT UNION because it was an unlawful gathering, angered me. Rushing our University residence is absolutely wrong.

    WE live here. As soon as they crossed Bigelow and onto the WPU, Fifth avenue onto our university property, and took down people 5 feet away from the towers c door, they were in the red.

  4. Thursday night was crazy. I was working at Peter's Pub, putting drink order in, and the next thing I know I turn around and people are running in from the main door, coughing, holding napkins over their faces, and eyes tearing. I saw my manager run into the kitchen and start throwing up and then I realized there was tear gas in the building. I found out that there were customers standing outside of the building, just to smoke and get fresh air, and apparently the police told everyone to get inside, and then threw tear gas on the front steps. People were running inside to escape the gas, and bringing it in with them. Some people tried to leave and return home, and one college student was shot with a rubber bullet when he was merely trying to get home and out of the madness; he was not rioting or instigating anything, he was simply trying to go home and stay out of the craziness. I found it crazy that the police would respond in this manner. Granted, some very unwarranted rioting did occur Thursday night- McDonald's, Pamela's, Subway, Rite Aid, and many more local stores had their windows smashed in, and a dumpster was pushed over and set on fire on Forbes and Oakland Ave. Unfortunately, the police were not there to act with tear gas and rubber bullets for the true rioters, and they lashed out when they were able to later when innocent civilans were outside.