The G20 – perhaps you’ve heard of it, perhaps not. But there is no doubt that if you were in Pittsburgh between Sept. 25 and 26, you would have heard the noise. The city was full of angry protesters, rolling dumpsters, shattering glass, riot police, rubber bullets and “teargas.” Countless amounts of people were brutalized and eighty individuals were arrested. Many Americans believe that protesting, especially at the G20, is pointless. To obtain an alternative standpoint I questioned a campus libertarian, Mike Thompson ’12.
What is your understanding of what the G20 does?
Actually, I’m not entirely sure, to be 100 percent honest. Formally, I do not believe it to be one singular identity. Informally, it deals with the issues pertinent to the top twenty countries’ GDPs.
Do you think it was important that the people of America protested? What were they trying to prove?
To begin with, I do believe that it was important to make a point that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the way the G20 are handling things. People of America should make their presence known. It is important for individuals to make the anger of specific groups known, making sure important topics do not get ignored.
Would a peaceful protest have gotten the same message across?
I personally feel while peaceful protests are excellent, protests do, in fact, rely on media coverage. Peaceful protests don’t entice a great deal of media coverage
In gatherings of this type previously, protestors came by the thousands. Was it fear, acceptance, apathy, ignorance or something else that kept Americans away?
Given the fact that I’m not totally sure, I would say, principally, ignorance and apathy. Marches on Washington have fallen from the political process because many don’t think their message can get through. Police patrolling the streets of Pittsburgh could have played a role. Martial Law in the city keeps people away by producing a silent threat.
In your eyes, were the protesters being treated fairly by the riot cops?
People have to be ready to accept responsibility for their methods. How police responded probably did hurt people who didn’t need to be; however, should violence have been expected? Yes.
Erin Kreischer ’13, Juniata Online Journalist