Sunday, October 4, 2009
I already posted a long post about G-20, but I wanted to reflect back on the events. The aftermath has been at least as devastating as the entire weekend. One of my first friends at Pitt got arrested that Thursday night. He was charged with failure to disperse, disorderly conduct, assault with a weapon on a police officer. Now he faces a felony charge with 5-10 years in prison. His entire life savings is being used to pay for a lawyer to at least ease the punishment to probation (and hopefully drop all charges). I would not argue that this was unfair if I did not first think that the police should not have been there. They exaggerated the extent of the situation to the point where students got hurt and students got unnecessarily arrested. The truth of the matter is that most of the students arrested were innocent. My friend did not have any weapons on him. (They claim he threw a rock.) And I have heard a few other stories of students trying to help other students get away from the tear gas or rubber bullets and getting arrested while doing so. Sitting in the lobby of towers on lockdown, I saw a man get arrested for videotaping. All of these events make me think about our government and how much control they have as soon as they declare "An Emergency Situation". I had a police officer tell a group of students that the situation may seem like we are in a state of martial law, but it wasn't and that we were close to it. If that was not martial law, I never want to see what is. The entire time, I kept thinking about my grandfather who escaped the Soviet Union during World War II. I knew that this was nothing compared to what he dealt with. His family's land was expropriated and they were sent to prison. The government had complete control of every individual. I do not believe that the United States could fall to that, but it was a sad day when I realized how much control our government has over the people when the government is supposed to be of the people, for the people, by the people.